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Use just four letters to translate the phrase by and of itself into Latin.




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Answer: per se

The four letters are: p, e, r, and s.

Feedback


Clever! First I thought of sui generis (too many letters), and then ibid (right number of letters, but not DISTINCT letters). I had a feeling I was wrong, but came to the site anyway. Too soon! I would have thought of per se eventually.
james.t.wood at msn.com
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Hey! I did it!
chuckdavis at nshaw.ca
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Subtle dirty trick! I got it but counted it as five letters. OK you are correct, five characters, four letters. Good on ya!
dsmith at zapeng.ncom
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I got the answer, but wasn't sure at first. I took "4 letters" quantitatively.
gregfelton at shaw.ca
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Would "ipso" be the same? As in ipso facto...

[Mootguy: "Ipso" doesn't mean "by and of itself."]
acenyc28 at hotmail.com
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What's the trick? Counting FIVE letters and calling them FOUR letters?
mike at instrumentation.com
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That was tricky, indeed :) Thanks for stirring those brain cells.
nadia.toromanova at gmail.com
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stinkers. 4 letters...
Joe at JoeBarfield.com
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In a learner context this would be considered an unreasonable task as you have not stipulated that one of the letters can be used twice. It is the same as saying in mathematics: Use two numbers to make eleven and then giving the answer as 1 and 1. Your emails and thoughts, however, are always interseting and thought-provoking. My daily wade through my emails would not be the same without them, for which I thank you.
henrypage at btinternet.com
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The question was not fair "per se" has x5 letters not x4 Also, "per se" is not a single word. Sure this expression has only x4 different letters but you should have indicated that in your question
BRONOWSKIOFFICE at yahoo.co.uk
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Ya got me.....
Lynnnnuk at aol.com
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Give me a break!!!!!
gellman at wgglaw.com
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pAh, and I was going for 'solo'. Of course, following the pattern of your calculations, that's only 3 letters.
aulhamel at fastermail.com
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This was evil!!!!!!!!!! You've developed a wicked side.....more please
pmspitoni at hotmail.com
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That's a bit misleading. One ordinarily thinks of letter tokens, rather than letter types. (E.g. is 'element' a 7 letter word or a 5-letter word? Most people would say 7, I think.)
rfbjr2 at aol.com
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I, too, was stumped-- but in re-reading the challenge, I found no trickery there!
l_korpi at hotmail.com
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Flashed on your little trick right away, but only because, as a former student of Latin, was SO familiar with the answer. The fans have a right to be furious (learner context, etc.) YET at heart I'm with the one who wrote, "That was evil!!..more please."
slundgren at warnerpacific.edu
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