Latin IS English!

July 26, 2008

“What You See is What You Get!” —OR— “A Satellite View of Latin Verbs”

Based on my prior study of and longevity teaching another “inflected” language (Koiné Greek) that has many close structural parallels with Latin, it has long been my belief that students of beginning Latin grammar seek a systematic way to study and retain the structural elements of the various grammatical components of the language. Over many years as a New Testament Greek language instructor, and in more recent years Latin, my observation has been that many students have tried, in a sense, to “re-invent the wheel” when it comes to memory systems or paradigms for these ancient verbs, nouns, participles and the like.  Thanks to one of my former language instructors, I can offer you what I think works for almost any language to help promote memory work of structures via paradigms—in this case, Latin Indicative Verb formations in the “active” and “passive” voices.

latin-indicative-verbs-chart1

Built upon a “numbering” system for verb endings, coupled with the “stem” (or “base” quality) of model verbs representative of all four Latin Indicative Mode (or Mood) verb conjugations, with the various tenses (other than the Present tense) governed by “tense signs” (e.g. “-ba-” for the Imperfect, or “-v-” for the Perfect, etc.), one can readily see the relationships, the constants and the variables that exist within the entire verbs formation paradigm, below.  Right-click on image to save to your desktop.

The above paradigm reflects the last screen of a multiple click-through PowerPoint presentation of all four Latin Verb Conjugations.  To download the PowerPoint, click here.  For a 7-page PDF of the same, click here or download either from the sidebar (opposite).

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

July 5, 2008

Inalienable (Unalienable) Rights: Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness

  

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 04, 2008 is:

inalienable • \in-AY-lee-uh-nuh-bul\  • adjective: incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred

Example sentence:
“Just because I can use my work e-mail for personal correspondence doesn’t mean I have the inalienable right to do so,” Brian explained.

Did you know?
“Alien,” “alienable,” “inalienable” — it’s easy enough to see the Latin word “alius,” meaning “other,” at the root of these three words. “Alien” joined our language in the 14th century, and one of its earliest meanings was “belonging to another.” By the early 1600s that sense of “alien” had led to the development of “alienable,” an adjective describing something you could give away or transfer ownership of, and “unalienable,” its opposite. By about 1645, “inalienable” was also in use as a synonym of “unalienable.” “Inalienable” is the more common variant today, but it was “unalienable” that was used in the Declaration of Independence” to describe rights like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

** Blogger’s additions: listen to “Declaration” song.  Also, listen to the late President Ronald Reagan—before he was ever President of the United States—during the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign “Cold War” years.


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 7, 2008

“Vocabula Computatralia” (you got it: “Computer Vocabulary!”)

Here’s a sampling of computer vocabulary with original Latin roots.  For a complete “A to V” English-Latin dictionary of computer related vocabulary go here.  Or, see sidebar link “Vocabula Computralia” under English-Latin Resources.

Vocabula computatralia

A

abort 1vt interrumpere 2subst. interruptus,us m. address 1(memory location) subst. locus (memoriae, in memoria); numerus octeti 2(net location, URL) subst. inscriptio (interretialis vel interneti) 3(e-mail) subst. inscriptio (cursualis) electronica 4(to select a memory location) vt. locum (memoriae) eligere

B

boot 1subst. initiatio systematis; cold ~ initiatio frigida, initiatio e frigido; warm ~ initiatio calida, initiatio e calido. 2vt. initiare

browser 1(text viewer) subst. exhibitrum,i n. 2(Web viewer) subst. navigatrum,i n.

C

command subst. iussum,i n.; mandatum,i n. cursor subst. indicium,i n. cyberspace subst. spatium cyberneticum; cyberspatium,i n.

D

debug (to correct mistakes in a programvt. emendare delete vt. delere; eradere desktop subst. tabula,ae f. (systematis); mensa,ae f. disk 1. (physical device, disk drivesubst. discus,i m.; ~ image disci simulacrum 2. (hard disksubst. discus durus; discus rigidus; discus fixus 3. (floppy diskettesubst. discus flexibilis; disculus,i m.4. (CD-ROMsubst. discus compactus 5. (logical device, partitionsubst. volumen,inis n.; discus,i m. 6. (floppy disk drivesubst. statio disculorum

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 29, 2008

A Soirée with Fauré “Into Paradise” (In Paradisum)

soi·rée  Listen to the pronunciation of soirée \swä-ˈrā\
Function:  noun
Etymology:  French soirée = evening period, evening party; from Middle French soir = evening; from Latin sero = at a late hour; from serus = late; akin to Old Irish sír =long, lasting and perhaps to Old English sīth = late.  Date: 1802.
In paradisum deducant te angeli
Into paradise may the angels lead you.
in tuo adventu 
In your coming 
suscipiant te martyres,
may the martyrs receive you,  
et perducant te 
and may they guide you 
in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem. 
into the holy city, Jerusalem.
Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, 
May the chorus of angels receive you, 
et cum Lazaro quondam paupere 
and with Lazarus, once poor, 
aeternam habeas requiem.
may you have eternal rest. 
Rev. 21:1-4

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 

  • For he (Abraham) was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. (Heb. 11:10) 
  • Then the angel said to me, “Write:  ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ”   (Rev. 19:9a)


Click here for a beautifully rendered “In Paradisum” full choir and orchestra video! 

March 28, 2008

Vitae Lux (“Light of Life”)

 

 “VITAE LUX” — Sissel (music video in separate window) 

  • MELODY:  Frode Alnæs
  • LYRICS:   Ivar Dyrhau
  • ENGLISH TRANSLATION:  Robert Wermuth 
   

Vitae lux 
Light of life 
Vitae vis
Strength of life 
Unde spes vigens
From whom hope thrives 
Duc sub nocte per umbras
Lead during the shade of night 
Firmentur pedes
May (our) feet be strengthened.
 
Silentium
Silence  
Mox intrat
Soon enters 
Mortis vis valet
The power of death is strong 
Anget vitae semita
Life’s path will cause pain 
Ne nos occultet 
May He assuredly hide us.

 

March 25, 2008

A “Flood” of Words from Latin—Word of the Day: “antediluvian”

antediluvian.mp3

 

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 22, 2008 is: antediluvian • \an-tih-dih-LOO-vee-un\  • adjective 1 : of or relating to the period before the flood described in the Bible 2 a : made, evolved, or developed a long time ago *b : extremely primitive or outmoded
 
Example sentence:  The researchers argued that the lab’s equipment was antediluvian and long overdue for replacement.
 
Did you know? Before there was “antediluvian,” there were the Latin words “ante” (meaning “before”) and “diluvium” (meaning “flood”). As long ago as 1646, English speakers were using “antediluvian” to describe conditions they believed existed before the great flood described in the biblical account of Noah and the ark. By the early 1700s, the word had come to be used as both an adjective and a noun referring to anything or anyone prodigiously old. Charles Darwin used it to characterize the mighty “antediluvian trees” some prehistoric mammals might have used as a food source, and in hisAmerican Notes, Charles Dickens described an elderly lady who informed him, “It is an extremely proud and pleasant thing . . . to be an antediluvian.

 

March 21, 2008

Latin “Ad Infinitum” . . . Even on Spring Break!

Filed under: Latin-English Resources — Robert Wermuth @ 1:57 pm
Tags: ,

It’s “Spring Break” from Latin (at least for many), yet it can still cross our paths unexpectedly.  For example, I just heard (on an older TV program re-run) that owning people money, who owe other people money, who owe other people money is similar to the following “proverb”—

 

“Big fleas have little fleas

Upon their backs to bite ’em.

And little fleas have smaller fleas,

And so . . . ad infinitum! 

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.

 

March 4, 2008

Latin is a DEAD Language!!

“NOW IT’S KILLING ME” NO LONGER

Latin is a dead language,
As dead as dead can be. 
First it killed the Romans, 
And now it’s killing me!   

Many generations of Latin students have employed this little rhyme to voice their frustration over learning a language so very different from English. Granted, they might not get too much sympathy from those readers of this blog who have undertaken Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and other Semitic languages, but for the average high school student, an inflected language like Latin can be bewildering.

Even for those who have learned Greek and Hebrew and other Semitic languages, there are times when you need to consult Latin texts such as the Vulgate, and if you don’t work with Latin every day, you may find the going a little rough.

Now there’s help for new students and rusty scholars alike. For some time now, we’ve been developing a grammatically-tagged and lemmatized version of the Latin Vulgate. The New Testament is now complete and was recently released at the annual conferences of ETS and SBL. Users of the tagged Vulgate can now drag their cursor over Latin words to get the full parsing information, and can find all inflections of a given lexical form.

The new tagged Vulgate module can’t bring the Latin language back from the dead, but it can reduce its ability to “kill” the Latin student!

 

“I’m Confused” . . . OR . . . “‘Babbling’ Away in the 21st Century!”

Filed under: Latin-English Resources — Robert Wermuth @ 8:06 am
Tags: , , , , ,

 Genesis 11 (English Standard Version)

The Tower of Babel

 1Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” 5And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

 

March 1, 2008

And then . . . there’s humor for “Lexophiles” (= lovers of words)

Filed under: English Vocabulary Resources — Robert Wermuth @ 3:36 pm
Tags: , ,

HUMOR FOR LEXOPHILES  

  • I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  • Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting arrest.
  • Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
  • The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.
  • The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
  • To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
  • When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.
  • The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
  • A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
  • A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal. 
  • Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.
  • We’ll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.
  • When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A .
  • The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.
  • The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.
  • The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
  • If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.
  • A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.
  • A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.
  • A will is a dead giveaway.
  • Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
  • A backward poet writes inverse.
  • In a democracy it’s your vote that counts; in feudalism, it’s your Count that votes.
  • A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
  • If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
  • With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
  • Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I’ll show you A-flatminer.
  • When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
  • The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
  • A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulting in Linoleum Blown apart.
  • You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.
  • Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.
  • He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.
  • A lot of money is tainted: Taint yours, and ‘taint mine.
  • A boiled egg is hard to beat.
  • He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
  • A plateau is a high form of flattery.
  • Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
  • When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall.
  • If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.
  • When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d dye.
  • Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
  • Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.
  • Acupuncture: a jab well done.

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?!”]

 

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