Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    10
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default What does 'modus operandi' mean?

    Dear teacher,
    I roughly know what it mean, but I'm not so sure.
    What does it really mean? Is it a negative word?
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,554
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does 'modus operandi' mean?

    It's neither negative nor positive. It's Latin for "manner of working" and merely means "the manner in which a particular person performs a certain task".

    You'll usually use it in reference to criminals. For example, a criminal might knock on the door of elderly people, pretend to be from the telephone company and, while "inspecting the wires", look to see if there is anything of value; and if there is, he breaks in two or three nights later. That would be his "modus operandi" (or "M.O." for short), and if several people are robbed in the same way, that's a good indication that it might be the same criminal at work.

    But anyone can have a modus operandi for anything they do regularly.

  3. #3
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,585
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does 'modus operandi' mean?

    Hello Jeff, welcome to Using English!

    It means "method of operating" in Latin. Thus (from Google):

    1. Secrecy is the modus operandi of autocratic government.

    In other words, autocratic governments operate by means of secret processes.

    The phrase isn't negative or positive in itself.

    All the best,

    MRP

  4. #4
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,585
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does 'modus operandi' mean?

    PS: Sorry, Rewboss, I didn't see you'd already answered the question!

  5. #5
    Teia is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Romanian
      • Home Country:
      • Romania
      • Current Location:
      • Romania
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,881
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does 'modus operandi' mean?

    Hi


    Both Rewboss and MrPedantic are right.
    The Latin phrase "modus operandi" means "method of operating" [Rewboss wrote a very good explanation ] and I know it very well because my native language which is of Latin origin uses it very frequently : mod de operare [Romanian]--modus operandi [Latin]


    All the best.
    Last edited by Teia; 07-Aug-2006 at 09:23.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    10
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does 'modus operandi' mean? (advanced question)

    Hi! All,

    Thanks for your answering. I guess I should post the entire sentence.

    "The suggestion of XXX effectively is an admission by the authors of a fundamental change in the modus operandi." (XXX means some kind of method)

    Above sentence is extracted from the reviewer's comment about my paper. I don't really know what that does mean.

    If 'modus operandi' is usually used in criminal activity, does that imply that the reviewer thought I have done something bad?

    with best regards,
    Jeff

  7. #7
    Teia is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Romanian
      • Home Country:
      • Romania
      • Current Location:
      • Romania
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,881
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does 'modus operandi' mean? (advanced question)

    Quote Originally Posted by piangel View Post
    Hi! All,
    Thanks for your answering. I guess I should post the entire sentence.
    "The suggestion of XXX effectively is an admission by the authors of a fundamental change in the modus operandi." (XXX means some kind of method)
    Above sentence is extracted from the reviewer's comment about my paper. I don't really know what that does mean.
    If 'modus operandi' is usually used in criminal activity, does that imply that the reviewer thought I have done something bad?
    with best regards,
    Jeff

    Hi, Jeff

    "Modus operandi" is most commonly used in investigating criminal activity as you said, but not only.
    "Modus operandi" means method or way of operating; manner or mode of operating
    MO - an unvarying or habitual method of procedure
    "The suggestion of XXX effectively is an admission by the authors of a fundamental change in the modus operandi." (xxx means...of a fundamental change in the method or way of operating)
    "If 'modus operandi' is usually used in criminal activity, does that imply that the reviewer thought I have done something bad?" - the answer is : he[the reviewer as you say] states your way of operating or the method of procedure used by you. If you were involved in a criminal activity and you are guilty in the eyes of legal authorities , then , yes, you have done something wrong, and they want to state how you did it, the way you did it.
    For further information see also :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modus_operandi



    Regards,
    Last edited by Teia; 07-Aug-2006 at 09:32.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk