I would like to perform a mea culpa and "admit" that I'd given advice that in hindsight might have been suboptimal as it didn't sufficiently address all possible future outcomes. So calling it a mea culpa is a bit of a stretch and meant tongue-in-cheek.

Since the recipient had stated that they had already chosen a course of action and executed it before I posted my advice, I want to modify the mea culpa to denote that it is imperfect advice after the fact; that it's not my fault because the advice came after the course of action was already taken.

In this case can I label my "admission as an ex post facto mea culpa?

Here is the comment in question for context:

ex post facto mea culpa: I'd advised to post the new question, though the new question had already been posted before I'd answered. Now the old question is reopened. I'd said "we usually try to salvage the question rather than post a new version; that's the norm. But there can certainly be exceptions..." I wonder if this is a good candidate for merging since the answer on the newer one is really good and should have high visibility alongside the answers on the older one? Or perhaps now it's open they can just copy/paste it there?

  • I may need help with tagging, thanks! Potentially related: Would the meaning change a bit if I changed “mea culpa” to “culpa mea” even if Latin doesn't care about word order?
    – uhoh
    Mar 4, 2021 at 0:47
  • A mea culpa is an admission of guilt. By default, the actions behind each one is in the past. You don't need ex post facto.
    – cmw
    Mar 7, 2021 at 13:33
  • @C.M.Weimer I may not need it yes, but "Can I label..." as such given what I've explained?
    – uhoh
    Mar 7, 2021 at 13:52
  • Not really. Ex post facto refers to a retroactive effect. Theoretically, an ex post facto mea culpa would refer to your taking the blame for something that wasn't wrong then but only is wrong now. To my mind, that's different from something being wrong then and only now realizing it.
    – cmw
    Mar 7, 2021 at 14:22
  • 1
    Oooh, I think I misunderstood the question. In that case, then I can see that indeed being fine. You are retroactively taking the blame. It's a bit puzzling on first glance, but with a short explanation I think it should be fine to use.
    – cmw
    Mar 7, 2021 at 14:32


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