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Prose

means straightforward speaking or writing (Latin, oratio prosa- i.e. proversa), in opposition to foot-bound speaking or writing, oratio vincta (fettered speech —i.e. poetry).

Prose

Il y a plus de vingt ans que je dis de la prose, sans que j'en susse rien. I have known this these twenty years without being conscious of it. (Molière: Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme.)

“`Really,' exclaimed Lady Ambrose, brightening, `Il y a plus de vingt ans que je dis de la prose, sans que j'en susse rien.' And so it seems that I have known history without suspecting it, just as Mons. Jourdain talked prose.” —Mallock: The New Republic, bk. iii. chap. 2.

Father of Greek prose. Herodotos (B.C. 484-405). Father of English prose. Wycliffe (1324-1384); and Roger Ascham (1515-1568). Father of French prose. Villehardouin (pron. Veal-hard-whah'n.) (1167-1213.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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