An Italian colleague included a reference in a work-related letter that described her colleagues (myself included) as being “egregious” people. She meant it kindly. The Italian word “egregi” means something like excellent or esteemed. It is the Italian equivalent of the word “Dear” in Dear Sir/Madam.

This used to also be the meaning in English, and it is still listed as an archaic form of the word in the dictionary. But the literal meaning nowadays is exactly the opposite: “shockingly bad”. This is not what our Dear Colleague intended.