I was talking about cultural differences in class today so I asked my students to think of some customs that are acceptable in Korea and rude in the U. S. (or other cultures) or vice versa. Instead of saving me time by not having to say the opposite (rude in Korea and acceptable in the U. S.) it ended up taking more time because then I had to stop and explain what vice versa meant!

Anyway, vice versa is actually a Latin phrase. It means with “the order or meaning reversed.” Here are two more examples:

Do you think men’s clothes are more expensive than women’s or vice versa?

She hates him and vice versa.

Incidentally, Latin is to English what Chinese is to Korean. That is, a majority of English words are derived from Latin. So, a good way to quickly learn English vocabulary is to learn some of the most common Latin roots.

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