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I've seen the word "ala" used a number of times to mean "in the manner of" or "like", but I can't seem to find a decent reference for it - which probably means I'm spelling it wrong or looking in the wrong language (I'd guess latin or french).

Could somebody please enlighten me to its origin, actual meaning and if it needs to be italicized when used in English.

Thanks,
-Jason
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I've seen the word "ala" used a number of times to mean "in the manner of" or "like", but I ... somebody please enlighten me to its origin, actual meaning and if it needs to be italicized when used in English.

Spell it "a la" and look it up at www.m-w.com
I'll give it to you this time:
Main Entry: à la
Variant(s): also a la /"ä-(")lä, "ä-l&, "a-l&/
Function: preposition
Etymology: French à la
Date: 1589
in the manner of

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
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I've seen the word "ala" used a number of times to mean "in the manner of" or "like", but I ... somebody please enlighten me to its origin, actual meaning and if it needs to be italicized when used in English.

It's French, and it's two words, à la. That first is an a with a grave accent by the way, in case your newsreader chewed up the special character. "in the manner of" is a reasonable translation. It's not usually italicised in English.

Alison  ...
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I've seen the word "ala" used a number of times to mean "in the manner of" or "like", but I ... enlighten me to its origin, actual meaning and if it needs to be italicized when used in English. Thanks, -Jason

French it is - à la (two words)
No need to italicise. It means 'after the style of, in the manner of, according to'. Used in phrases like 'à la mode' - after the fashion. Used a lot in cookery - à la Royale, à la Broche.
NB - this is the feminine form of the construction, strictly a reference to a masculine word should employ 'au' instead - au gratin. The term is used freely with non-French terms - jokes à la Monty Python, architecture à la Milton Keynes.

John Dean
Oxford
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I've seen the word "ala" used a number of times to mean "in the manner of" or "like", but I ... somebody please enlighten me to its origin, actual meaning and if it needs to be italicized when used in English.

It's French "a la" meaning literally "at the" but used to mean "flavoured" or "in the style of".
Adrian  ...
I've seen the word "ala" used a number of times to mean "in the manner of" or "like", but I ... somebody please enlighten me to its origin, actual meaning and if it needs to be italicized when used in English.

French "à la", with the meaning you ascribe to it. The phrase "à la Russe", for example, means "in the Russian style".

As to italicising it in English, I consider it a borderline case, as it is fairly well established in English usage.

PB
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The inimitable Jason Kirk (Email Removed) stated one day
I've seen the word "ala" used a number of times to mean "in the manner of" or "like", but I ... it - which probably means I'm spelling it wrong or looking in the wrong language (I'd guess latin or french).

That'd be "Latin or French" if you were really trying to spell them.
Could somebody please enlighten me to its origin, actual meaning and if it needs to be italicized when used in English.

Just like *"alot", which is, in truth, "a lot", the "word" *"ala" is not a word at all but two" "à la" in French and in English.  ...
French it is - à la (two words) No need to italicise. It means 'after the style of, in the ... the feminine form of the construction, strictly a reference to a masculine word should employ 'au' instead - au gratin.

True, but I wonder if the gender rules for cooking might be a little different from other references.
I asked a French teacher why it's "à la" and not "au" in cases where it's not immediately obvious or necessary that the reference is feminine why is it "à la russe" for example when it could just as easily be "au russe."
His explanation (which I have not verified) was that it's a contraction of "à la maniere" ("in the Russian manner") and manière is feminine.  ...
I've seen the word "ala" used a number of times ... needs to be italicized when used in English. Thanks, -Jason

French it is - à la (two words) No need to italicise. It means 'after the style of, in the ... gratin. The term is used freely with non-French terms - jokes à la Monty Python, architecture à la Milton Keynes.

What, then, is "chicken a la king"? A Louis XVI chicken? One that says "Let them eat giblets"?  ...
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