Monday, February 07, 2005


I could very well spend days researching the origins of words:

Histrionic: from histrio, histrionis- actor.
Gestate: from gero, gerere, gessi, gestum- to bear.
Ambulance: from ambulo- to walk (because if you need one, it means you can't walk).

And several other filthy ones that Ms. Jury relayed to us to help us memorize the forms:

Erection, resurrection are derived from surgo, surgere, surrexi, surrectum- to rise, get up.
Testis from the same word in Latin, which meant witness. Because witnesses had to be male to testify.
Vagina, meaning a sheath, or a scabbard.

If I've learned anything, it's that words that passed from Latin into French before coming into English get all messed up (suite is derived from sequor- to follow??) in spelling, pronunciation and sometimes even meaning.

I could make a career out of this... I'm sure of it.

This post reminds me of that episode of Full House where Stephanie entered the spelling bee, and her father helped her with mnemonic devices like "double the c, double the s, and you have success". But then when she got into the competition, she got David BYRNED when she actually got the word mnemonic, and she left off the "m" because she didn't know it derived from the Greek. And then that walking dictionary kid whooped her.

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