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All posts tagged "etymology"

  • Thieves, Knives, and Chiefs and English Plurals

    English is rule-based. I repeat: Like all languages, English is rule-based. A tweet recently appeared in my Twitter feed in which...

    InformationHeather JohnsonMay 3, 2020
  • Zero Phones and Markers: Not All Letters Spell Sounds

    Writing is not sounds written down. The primary function of English spelling is to represent meaning. Sounds do matter, but not...

    InformationHeather JohnsonFebruary 29, 2020
  • Why Are <talk>, <walk>, and <stalk> Spelled with <l>?

    Yesterday I introduced my 5-year-old to the words <talk> and <walk>. He knows that graphemes can spell sounds, specifically that <l>...

    InformationHeather JohnsonFebruary 3, 2020
  • Why Is <broad> Spelled with the <oa> Digraph?

    Yesterday I posted on my social media about the spelling of the word <broad>. I just introduced the <oa> grapheme to...

    InformationHeather JohnsonJanuary 23, 2020
  • Word Matrix: Leve

    I always misspell the word <relevant> as <*relavant> based on a thinking that <relevant> is related to <relative>. I recently decided...

    InformationHeather JohnsonJanuary 22, 2020
  • <Urine> and My Phonics Phail

    I grew up in the 1990s. I entered kindergarten in 1990 and began learning to read that year. Phonics and sight...

    InformationHeather JohnsonJanuary 15, 2020
  • From Felines to Street Drugs to Zero Phones: <cat>, <methcathinone>, and <ephedron>

    You never know where a word study will take you. A while back, my oldest and I did a word study...

    InformationHeather JohnsonDecember 20, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Anxi

    <Anxi> ‪”uneasy, troubled in mind” from Latin anxius Note: The base is <anxi>. The <i> is part of the base because...

    InformationHeather JohnsonSeptember 28, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Doodle

    While reading some books about the history of words earlier this year, I came across the word <fopdoodle>, which means “a...

    InformationHeather JohnsonSeptember 10, 2019
  • Word Matrix: D (“set, put”)

    Back at the end of July, I investigated the words <add> and <addition>. I undercovered the base <d>, but I misidentified...

    InformationHeather JohnsonSeptember 3, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Ply (“lay, fold, twist”)

    I recently came across a tweet in a Twitter conversation that argued that studying morphemes is not always helpful. A morpheme...

    InformationHeather JohnsonAugust 20, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Stude

    <stude> “learn, examine, show zeal for” from Old French estudiier, from Medieval Latin studiare, from Latin studium “study, application,” originally “eagerness,”...

    InformationHeather JohnsonJuly 28, 2019
  • Word Matrix: D (“give”)

    After returning from a two-week family vacation last weekend, I found my sleep schedule completely messed up. Instead of tossing and...

    InformationHeather JohnsonJuly 26, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Marsupe

    <marsupe> “purse, pouch” from Modern Latin marsupialis “having a pouch,” coined from Late Latin marsupium “pouch, purse” Word Sums Marsupe +...

    InformationHeather JohnsonJuly 21, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Galact

    <galact> “milk, milky” from Greek gala (genitive galaktos, stem galakt-) “milk” Word Sums Galact + ic -> galactic Extra + Galact...

    InformationHeather JohnsonJune 17, 2019