Latin IS English!

July 17, 2009

“Now, once and for all: It’s time to get on the bus!”


Word of the Day Image

The Word of the Day for July 17, 2009 is:

omnibus \AHM-nih-bus\ • adjective

1 : of, relating to, or providing for many things at once
2 : containing or including many items

Example Sentence:

At the beginning of the school year, teachers held an omnibus meeting to tie up many of the loose ends that were left unaddressed over the summer.

Did you know?

The adjective omnibus may not have much to do with public transportation, but the noun omnibus certainly does — it not only means “bus,”but it’s also the word English speakers shortened to form “bus.” The noun “omnibus” originated in the 1820s as a French word for long, horse-drawn vehicles that transported people along the main thoroughfares of Paris. Shortly thereafter, omnibuses— and the noun “omnibus” —arrived in New York. But in Latin, omnibus simply means for all.” Our adjective omnibus, which arrived in the mid-1800s, seems to hark back to that Latin omnibus, though it may also have been at least partially influenced by the English noun. An “omnibus bill” containing numerous provisions, for example, could be likened to a bus loaded with people.

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July 15, 2009

More “Troublesome” Latin Coming into English (but only a fractional part)

The Word of the Day for July 15, 2009 is:

Word of the Day Image

fractious • \FRAK-shus\  • adjective

1 : tending to be troublesome : unruly
2 : quarrelsome, irritable

Example Sentence:

The class was fractious and uncontrollable when Mr. Douglas first took over as teacher, but he now has the students disciplined, focused, and ready to learn.

Did you know?

The Latin verb frangere (“to break or shatter) has many modern English relations. Dishes that are fragile can break easily. A person whose health is easily broken might be described as frail. A fraction is one of the many pieces into which a whole can be broken. But fraction also once meant “disharmony” or “discord” — that is, a “rupture in relations.” From this noun sense came the adjective fractious, meaning “unruly” or “quarrelsome.” Though the “disharmony” sense of the noun is now obsolete, fractious is still common today.

March 7, 2009

“Let’s Be Level-Headed about This Thing, Okay?!”

 

Word of the Day Image


 

 

 

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 07, 2009 is:

equanimity • \ee-kwuh-NIM-uh-tee\  • noun
*1 : evenness of mind especially under stress 2 : right disposition : balance

Example sentence:
Carol’s famous
equanimity didn’t desert her, even in the midst of the crisis.

Did you know?
If you think
“equanimity” looks like it has something to do with “equal,” you’ve guessed correctly. Both “equanimity” and “equal” are derived from “aequus,” a Latin adjective meaning “level” or “equal.” “Equanimity” comes from the combination of “aequus” and “animus” (“soul” or “mind”) in the Latin phrase “aequo animo,” which means “with even mind.” English speakers began using “equanimity” early in the 17th century with the now obsolete sense “fairness or justness of judgment,” which was in keeping with the meaning of the Latin phrase. “Equanimity” quickly came to suggest keeping a cool head under any sort of pressure, not merely when presented with a problem, and eventually it developed an extended sense for general balance and harmony.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

February 22, 2009

I’ll Not Be “Exorbitant” with Words Here

Word of the Day Image

exorbitant • \ig-ZOR-buh-tunt\ adjective

1 : not coming within the scope of the law
2 : exceeding the customary or appropriate limits in intensity, quality, amount, or size

Example Sentence:

I asked what the rent was for the apartment, and my jaw dropped open when they quoted me an exorbitant sum.

Did you know?

The first use of “exorbitant” in English was “wandering or deviating from the normal or ordinary course.” That sense is now archaic, but it provides a hint as to the origins of “exorbitant”: the word derives from Late Latin “exorbitans,” the present participle of the verb “exorbitare,” meaning “to deviate.” “Exorbitare” in turn was formed by combining the prefix “ex-,” meaning “out of,” with the noun “orbita,” meaning “track of a wheel” or “rut.” (“Orbita” itself traces back to “orbis,” the Latin word for “disk” or hoop.”) In the 15th century “exorbitant” came to refer to something which fell outside of the normal or intended scope of the law. Eventually, it developed an extended sense as a synonym of “excessive.”

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

November 19, 2008

“Better Personal ‘Deportment,’ Please . . . or You May Be ‘Deported!'”

Word of the Day Image

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 19, 2008 is:

deportment • \dih-PORT-munt\  • noun
: the manner in which one conducts oneself : behavior

Example sentence:
The school expects students to dress in proper attire and maintain a respectful level of
deportment throughout the day.

Did you know?
Deportment evolved from the verb
“deport,” meaning “to behave especially in accord with a code,” which in turn came to us through Middle French from Latin “deportare,” meaning “to carry away.” (You may also know “deport” as a verb meaning “to send out of the country;” that sense is newer and is derived directly from Latin “deportare.”) “Deportment” can simply refer to one’s demeanor, or it can refer to behavior formed by breeding or training and often conforming to conventional rules of propriety: “Are you not gratified that I am so rapidly gaining correct ideas of female propriety and sedate deportment?” wrote 17-year-old Emily Dickinson to her brother Austin.

 

November 16, 2008

Putting Our Fingers on the Word “Effigy”

Word of the Day Image
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 16, 2008 is:

effigy • \EFF-uh-jee\  • noun

: an image or representation especially of a person; especially : a crude figure representing a hated person.

Example sentence:
A giant effigy is set ablaze at the climax of the annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

Did you know?
An earlier sense of
effigy is “a likeness of a person shaped out of stone or other materials,” so it’s not surprising to learn that “effigy” derives from the Latin verb fingere,” which means to shape.” “Fingere” is the common ancestor of a number of other English nouns that name things you can shape. A “fiction” is a story you shape with your imagination. “Figments” are shaped by the imagination, too; they’re something you imagine or make up. A “figure” can be a numeral, a shape, or a picture that you shape as you draw or write.

 

Play effigy.mp3  

3.0 MB

October 6, 2008

“Let the Vocabulary Bell RING!”

As a Latin student begins to make progress through the five (5) Latin noun declensions, he or she will soon begin to notice—maybe with some degree of consternation—that there are some noun endings that repeat themselves in different “cases” even within the same declension (e.g, the –ae ending used in three different locations [cases] within the 1st declension).  As well, there may be repetition of the same case ending from one declension to the next, even involving different genders and different cases (e.g., the ī ending that occurs as twice within the 2nd declension masculine [genitive sing. and nom. pl.] and once in the neuter [genitive sing.], and then again in the 3rd declension as a dative singular).  Even the 2nd declension -us masculine nominative singular ending is repeated elsewhere—four times—within the 4th declension noun structures!

But, do not fear and tremble unnecessarily, even over something as seemingly ominous as this!  “Let the vocabulary bell ring inside your head:  when you think about how you first wrote, saw, and said the original form of the word, it will help significantly in directing your brain (the most sophisticated “computer” on the planet) first to the appropriate declension, and then to the appropriate case usage for the context which you are observing.

So, remember:  “Let the vocabulary bell RING!”


Interested in taking a “live, interactive” online Latin class?  Take the POLL here!

August 26, 2008

“Aggregate” – Another in a “flock” of Latin Words into English


 

  Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for August 24, 2008 

 

 

aggregate • \AG-rih-gut\  • noun
1 : a mass or body of units or parts somewhat loosely associated with one another *2 : the whole sum or amount : sum total

Example sentence:
“The aggregate of incriminating details unmistakably points towards a conviction,” said the prosecuting attorney.

Did you know?
We added “aggregate” to our flock of Latin borrowings in the 15th century. It descends from “aggregare” (“to add to”), a Latin verb made up of the prefix “ad-” (which means “to,” and which usually changes to “ag-” before a “g”) and “greg-“ or “grex” (meaning “flock”). “Greg-” also gave us “congregate,” “gregarious,” and “segregate.” “Aggregate” is commonly employed in the phrase “in the aggregate,” which means “considered as a whole” (as in the sentence “In the aggregate, the student’s various achievements were sufficiently impressive to merit a scholarship”). “Aggregate” also has some specialized senses. For example, it is used for a mass of minerals formed into a rock and for a material, such as sand or gravel, used to form concrete, mortar, or plaster.

June 7, 2008

An “Impeccable” Choice for the “Word of the Day!”

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for May 31, 2008 is:

impeccable • \im-PECK-uh-bul\  • adjective
1 : not capable of sinning or liable to sin *2 : free from fault or blame : flawless

Example sentence:
Although the restaurant was a bit expensive, we found its memorable cuisine, luxurious decor, and impeccable service to be well worth the price.

Did you know?
The word impeccable has been used in English since at least 1531. It derives from the Latin word “impeccabilis,” a combination of the Latin prefix “in-,” meaning “not,” and the verb “peccare,” meaning “to sin.” “Peccare” has other descendents in English. There is “peccadillo,” meaning “a slight offense,” and “peccant,” meaning “guilty of a moral offense” or simply “faulty.” There is also “peccavi,” which comes from Latin, where it literally means “I have sinned,” and which is used in English as a noun meaning “an acknowledgment of sin.”

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

                 


**Blogger’s Note:  The root Latin word “peccare” also gained significant theological importance via Reformed theologians like Augustine in his treatment on man’s “will” (as discussed by Scottish Puritan Thomas Boston in “Human Nature and Its Fourfold State,” paragraph two). For an even more detailed discussion of the phrases “posse nōn pecarre” ( = “able not to sin”) and “nōn posse non peccare” ( = “not able not to sin,”) and also the heaven-based nōn posse peccare” ( = “not able to sin”), go here.      

Additionally, for a listing of significant Latin theological terms and expressions, click here or download the similar PDF from here or from the sidebar.

May 28, 2008

Wermuth’s “Famous Quotes & Memory Joggers”

Here is an initial listing of classroom teaching quotes or “memory joggers” that are helpful over the entire course of Latin language study. I will add to this list from time to time, and I will also post revised PDF versions of it on the sidebar (opposite).

  1. Always study vocabulary and grammatical structures first before translating exercises.
  2. Make your own vocabulary cards. Write the Latin word not only on the front of the card, but also on the back of the card just above the definition.  This will instill in you a “conditioned” remembrance between the Latin word and its English meaning.  You may also want to include the “conjugation” (if a verb) or the “declension” (if a noun) from which the word originates.
  3. Neuter Latin nouns always repeat their Nominative endings in the Accusative (singular and plural, respectively).
  4. The Latin declined ending “ī” shows up in two declensions (2nd and 3rd) and in three different cases:  Genitive singular (2nd declension masc. & neuter), Nominative plural (2nd declension masc.), and Dative singular (3rd declension, all genders).  Look at the declensions side by side and you’ll readily notice this.  (Of course, what declension the word originates in plus the sentence’s context will help the reader determine which case is occurring.)
  5. The main characteristic (irregularity) of  a 3rd Declension Latin noun is that its true stem does not appear within the vocabulary word (Nom. sing.) itself, but first reveals itself within the Genitive singular form.  (Example:  lex, legis . . .)
  6. When translating Latin sentences, identify and translate in the following order whenever possible: (1) Subject (Nominative case), then (2) Verb, and (3) Direct Object (Accusative case).
  7. “Stick to your cases!” (when translating Latin sentences)
  8. Q. When you can’t find a subject (Nominative) noun or an adjective functioning as the subject (Nominative “substantive”) of the sentence, where can you always still locate the subject of a Latin sentence?  A. Hanging off the end of the verbal form (i.e., the personal ending) as the subject of the verb and also of the entire sentence!
  9. Don’t be intimidated by grammatical terminology.  For example, “transitive” verbs (Lat. trans = across, over) are verbs that have “action” (i.e. they’re “moving” toward an object).  As a result, we have the “direct object,” which receives the action of these verbs of motion.  Or, as one of my students brilliantly (and simply) stated:  “The subject ‘verbs’ the object.”
  10. Remember, transitive Latin verbs most often are positioned at the end of the sentence (or individual clauses within the sentence).
  11. 1st Conjugation Latin verbs are also known as “a-stems.”  In the 1st person singular, the “a” of the stem is swallowed up by the personal ending “o” (kind of like Jonah inside the whale; he’s there . . . you just can’t see him!)
  12. 2nd Conjugation Latin verbs could very well be termed “e-stems.”
  13. 3rd Conjugation Latin verbs (e.g., mitto, mittis, mittit, mittimus, mittitis, mittunt) present a thematic “i” in their Present Indicative stems, except in the 1st person singular and 3rd person plural. In this respect, they could be called “i-stems.”
  14. The “tense sign” indicator for all conjugations of Imperfect tense Latin Indicative verbs is –ba-.
  15. The “tense sign” indicator for Future tense Latin 1st & 2nd Conjugation Indicative verbs is –bi-.
  16. The “tense sign” indicator for Future tense Latin 3rd & 4th Conjugation Indicative verbs is a thematic “e,”  except for the 1st person singular, where it is an “a.”
  17. Remember:  All  Latin Indicative mode verb tenses except one (the Perfect tense) utilize  the Latin verb endings:    [or]m ,  –s,  –t,  –mus,  –tis, –nt in their formation.   Meanwhile, the Perfect Active Indicative utilizes the following endings:  i,  –isti,  –it,  –imus,  –istis,  –erunt.
  18. There is a significance to the Latin word order within a sentence.  Words at the beginning and end—Subject and Verb, respectively—obviously have prominence. For example, “Genitive” case words (showing possession or description), when moved in front of a word instead of their normal position following the word, signify greater emphasis.  So: “Deus, Pater hominum . . .” ( = “God, the Father of men . . . ”) would be even stronger written “Deus, hominum Pater . . .”

Interested in taking a “live, interactive” online Latin class?  Take the POLL here!

May 19, 2008

A “Propensity” for Adding Another “Word of the Day”


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for May 19, 2008 is:

propensity • \pruh-PENN-suh-tee\  • noun
: an often intense natural inclination or preference

Example sentence:
“My brother has a propensity for exaggeration,” said Daniella, “so you should probably take his claims with a grain of salt.”

Did you know?
When it comes to synonyms of “propensity,” the letter “p” predominates. “Proclivity,” “preference,” “penchant,” and “predilection” all share with “propensity” the essential meaning “a strong instinct or liking.” Not every word that is similar in meaning to “propensity” begins with “p,” however. “Propensity” comes from Latin “propensus,” the past participle of “propendēre,” a verb meaning “to incline” or “to hang forward or down.” Thus “leaning” and “inclination” are as good synonyms of “propensity” as any of those “p”-words.

April 20, 2008

“What is this ‘Word of the Day’ all about?”, cried the “petulant” young man.

petulant mp3

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for April 20, 2008 is:

petulant \PET-chuh-lunt\  • adjective
1 : insolent or rude in speech or behavior *2 : characterized by temporary or capricious ill humor : peevish

Example sentence:
“‘What is it all about?’ cried Dorian in his petulant way, flinging himself down on the sofa.” (Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray)

Did you know?
“Petulant” is one of many English words that are related to the Latin verb “petere,” which means “to go to,” “to attack,” “to seek,” or “to request.” “Petere” is a relative of the Latin adjective “petulans” (“impudent”), from which “petulant” was derived. Some other words with connections to “petere” are “compete” and “appetite.” “Competere,” the Late Latin precursor to “compete,” is a combination of the prefix “com-” and the verb “petere.” The joining of “ad-” and “petere” led to “appetere” (“to strive after”), and eventually to Latin “appetitus,” the source of our “appetite.” Additional descendants of “petere” are “petition,” “perpetual,” and “impetus.”

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

April 2, 2008

Let’s “Coalesce” around the “Word of the Day”

 

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for April 02, 2008 is: coalesce • \koh-uh-LESS\  • verb1 : to grow together 2 a : to unite into a whole : fuse*b : to unite for a common end : join forces 3 : to arise from the combination of distinct elements
 
Example sentence:The columnist urged party members to set aside their differences and coalesce around the candidate.
 
Did you know?  “Coalesce” unites the prefix “co-“ (“together”) and the Latin verb “alescere,” meaning “to grow.” (The words “adolescent” and “adult” also grew from “alescere.”) “Coalesce,” which first appeared in English in the mid-17th century, is one of a number of verbs in English (along with “mix,” “commingle,” “merge,” and “amalgamate”) that refer to the act of combining parts into a whole. In particular, “coalesce” usually implies the merging of similar parts to form a cohesive unit.
 
*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.
 
 
 

“Vivacious” Living

 
 
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 31, 2008 is: vivacious • \vuh-VAY-shus\  • adjective: lively in temper, conduct, or spirit : sprightly
 
Example sentence:The hostess was a pretty, vivacious woman with a knack for making people feel comfortable.
 
Did you know?  It’s no surprise that “vivacious” means “full of life,” since it can be traced back to the Latin verb “vivere,” meaning “to live.” The word was created around the mid-17th century using the Latin adjective “vivax,” meaning “long-lived, vigorous, high-spirited.” Other descendants of “vivere” in English include “survive,” “revive,” and “victual” — all of which came to life during the 15th century — and “vivid” and “convivial,” both of which surfaced around the same time as “vivacious.” Somewhat surprisingly, the word “live” is not related; it comes to us from the Old English word “libban.”
 
vivacious.mp3

 

March 11, 2008

“Go ahead and salivate!” — A Proven Method for Latin Vocabulary Study and Mastery

Here’s a proven method for vocabulary card creation, study and mastery. It’s based on the principle, familiar to some, called “conditioning” (“conditioned reflex”). In the 1890s Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov demonstrated a repetitive occurrence in the behavior of dogs when presented with food accompanied by an additional stimulus (e.g., ringing a bell). Each time the dogs were presented with food, evoking salivation, a bell was rung simultaneously. After numerous trials of food presentation, accompanied by a ringing bell, with consistent occurrences of salivation by the dogs, the trials were run the ringing without food being presented—yet the dogs continued to salivate in successive trials. 

Similarly, this same “conditioning” principle is very effective in producing consistent memory results when studying Latin vocabulary. Since most pre-printed vocabulary cards only include the Latin word on the front of the card with the corresponding definition on the back, it’s important to create your own vocabulary cards with an important addition. Even if you use pre-printed cards, adding this additional information is critically important. “What is the additional information?” you may ask.  It is simply this:  Write the Latin vocabulary word not only on the front of the vocabulary card, but also on the back of the card—with the definition immediately under it. In this way, you are associating the original Latin word (i.e., the “bell”) with its definition (i.e., the “food”), so that, when you turn the card over to the front side, even though it’s not really there, after repetitive viewings you will actually “see” the definition under the Latin word on the front side of the card as well!  In a sense, you can “salivate” all the way through your study of frequently used Latin vocabulary words in gaining a mastery of those words. Try itit really does work!!

Latin Vocab Card FRONT FRONT of  Card (“mouse” over or click to enlarge)
Latin Vocab Card BACK BACK of Card (“mouse” over or click to enlarge)


Interested in taking a “live, interactive” online Latin class?  Take the POLL here!

A “Repertoire” of English Vocabulary Building Resources from Latin Root Words

“repertoire”  mp3

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 11, 2008 is:

repertoire • \REP-er-twar\  • noun 1 : a list of plays, operas, pieces, or parts which a company or performer is prepared to present *2 : a supply of skills or devices possessed by a person 

Example sentence: “She is a pastry chef whose repertoire ranges from chocolate-filled croissants to old-fashioned scones and chocolate chip cookies.” (Linda Giuca, Hartford Courant [Connecticut], January 31, 2008)

 

Did you know? The Late Latin noun “repertorium,” meaning “list,” has given us two words that can be used to speak of the broad range of things that someone or something can do. One is “repertory,” perhaps most commonly known as a word for a company that presents several different plays, operas, or other works at one theater, or the theater where such works are performed. “Repertoire,” which comes from “repertorium” via French, once meant the same thing as “repertory” but later came to refer to the range of skills that a person has under his or her belt, such as the different pitches a baseball pitcher can throw or the particular dishes that are a chef’s specialty. 

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

 

February 29, 2008

Word of the Day: “impromptu”

 

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for February 29, 2008 is: impromptu • im-PROMP-too  • adjective* 1 : made, done, or formed on or as if on the spur of the moment : improvised 2 : composed or uttered without previous preparation : extemporaneous. Example sentence: When we dropped by unexpectedly, Aunt Dinah threw together an impromptu dinner from the odds and ends in her refrigerator. Did you know? If you think that “impromptu” looks like a relative of “prompt,” you’re right; both are ultimately derived from the Latin “promere,” meaning “to bring forth, take out.” “Impromptu” was borrowed from French, where it meant “extemporaneously,” but French speakers picked it up from the Latin phrase “in promptu,” a “promere” descendant meaning “in readiness” or “at hand.” There is also another, much rarer descendant of “promere” in English — the noun “promptuary,” meaning “a book of ready reference.”

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.
 

[Blogger’s Note:   Think, also, about the English derivative words:  promo, tele-prompter,  even the “Senior prom!! ”  So, like the blog name says:  “Latin IS English!”
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February 27, 2008

Word of the Day: “divest”

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for February 27, 2008 is: divest • dye-VEST  • verb1 a : to deprive or dispossess especially of property, authority, or title; b : to undress or strip especially of clothing, ornament, or equipment; c : rid, free 2 : to take away from a person.

Example sentence: When tests revealed that the athlete had been taking steroids, Olympic officials divested him of his medal. 

Did you know? Divest” is one of many English words that come from the Latin verb “vestire” (“to clothe“) and ultimately from the noun “vestis” (“clothing, garment”). Others includevest,” “vestment,” “invest,” and “travesty.” “Divest” and its older form “devest” can mean “to unclothe” or “to remove the clothing of,” but the word had broader applications even when it was first being used in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the opening scene of Shakespeare’s King Lear, Lear uses the term to mean “rid oneself of” or “put aside”:

“Tell me, my daughters             

(Since now we will divest us both of rule, Interest of territory, cares of state),

Which of you shall we say doth love us most?”    

In addition to clothing, one can be divested of power, authority, possessions, or burdens. *Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

[Blogger’s Note:  “Now, who would’ve ‘thunk’ it?!”]

 

February 26, 2008

Word of the Day: “esplanade”

 This is why Latin IS English!!  Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for February 18, 2008 is: esplanade • ESS-pluh-nahd  • noun: a level open stretch of paved or grassy ground; especially : one designed for walking or driving along a shore. Example sentence: While walking along the esplanade, we stopped to enjoy yet another gorgeous ocean sunset.  The history of “esplanade” is completely on the level. The Italians created “spianata,” for a level stretch of ground, from their verb “spianare,” which means “to make level.” “Spianare” in turn comes from the Latin verb “explanare,” which also means “to make level” and which is the source of our verb “explain.” Middle-French speakers borrowed “spianata” as “esplanade,” and in the late 1500s we borrowed the French word. In the late 17th century, and even later, esplanades were associated with war. The word was used to refer to a clear space between a citadel and the nearest house of a town or to a slope around a fortification used for defense against attack. Today, however, esplanades are usually for enjoyment.

 

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