The status quo…

719003What does it mean?

‘Status quo’ is a Latin term which means ‘the existing state of affairs,’ or ‘the way things are.’

Etymology

‘Status quo’ comes from the original Latin ‘statu quo’ which literally means ‘the state in which.’ Sources conflict as to when the term was first used, with some stating the 14th century and others the 19th century.

Proper Use

‘Status quo’ is sometimes incorrectly spoken or written as the ‘current status quo,’ which is incorrect. Using the term this way translates as ‘the current existing state of affairs.’ Sounds clunky, doesn’t it? ‘Status quo’ is also incorrectly used in a more informal way, when referring to minimal topics that don’t encompass the state of current affairs as a whole.

Improper Use

Although it has been adopted in the above way, ‘status quo’ should only really be used to refer to social or political affairs. Examples of use in a sentence include:

‘He consistently challenged the status quo in his writing.’
‘Despite opposition, they were desperate to maintain the status quo.’