An Eltham man who regularly uses the term “modus operandi” in business meetings and when talking to friends recently claimed bilingual status on his passport application form. Self-diagnosed “Gen Ytrepreneur”, Ben Adamson, listed both English and Latin as his languages spoken.

When quizzed by the Australian Passport Office on his ability to fluently speak two languages, Adamson was shocked to find that you needed to know more than one phrase when claiming the ability to speak a particular language. He said, “Latin is one of the most noble languages in history. So I love to use ‘modus operandi’ in work meetings and when I’m at the pub with my mates. It adds a certain gravitas to what I’m saying and makes me sound more intelligent.”

On reflection, Adamson thinks he could’ve actually convinced the Passport Office of his credentials, after failing to realise that he did, in fact, know two Latin phrases. According to Adamson, “I didn’t bloody realise that ‘bona fide’ has a Latin origin too! I use that all the time! I’m bona fide spewing that my modus operandi was so flawed.”