Word Roots

Friday, January 25, 2008 at 6:06 PM | Filed under

Sometimes, you use a word without really thinking about where it came from. It's important to recognize the different morphemes that make up a word to ensure that you write the word in a meaningful way.

That probably didn't make a lot of sense, so I'll just throw a bunch of examples at you. The word "wonderful" doesn't simply mean that something is very good. It means that it evokes a sense of wonder. Hence, the "wonder" part of "wonderful". The word "fantastic" takes root from the word "fantasy", so the word might best be used to describe something imaginary (or magical, if you'd rather go with the literary genre definition; it's all imaginary anyway). "Horrible" comes from the word "horror", so it rightly means that something is terrifying. Use the word "incredible" to describe something so amazing or unlikely that it is not credible or believable.

Of course, you can use these words however you like, but using the words in the way I described them brings the most literal definition into plain sight.

(P.S. Tomorrow's my birthday!)

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