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  • Word Matrix: Tract

    Word Matrix: Tract

    <tract> “draw, drag, move,” from stem of trahere “to pull, draw” Words Sums Tract -> tract Tract + s -> tracts Tract + or -> tractor Tract + or + s -> tractors Tract + or + Beam -> tractorbeam Tract + or + Beam + s -> tractorbeams Tract + ion -> traction Tract + ion […] More

  • Word Matrix: Beau

    Word Matrix: Beau

    <beau> “pretty, handsome, charming,” from Anglo-French beute, Old French biauté, earlier beltet, from Vulgar Latin *bellitatem (nominative bellitas), from Latin bellus “pretty, handsome, charming” Words Sums Beau -> beau Beau + ty -> beauty Beau + ty + es -> beauties Beau + ty + ful -> beautiful Beau + ty + ful + ly -> beautifully Beau + ty + ful […] More

  • Word Matrix: Augur(e)

    Word Matrix: Augur(e)

    <augur(e)> “predict, foretell” from French inauguration and directly from Late Latin inaugurationem, presumably originally “installment under good omens,” from in– “on, in” + augurare “to act as an augur, predict” Words Sums Augur(e) -> augur Augur(e) + s -> augurs Augur(e) + y -> augury in + Augur(e) + ate -> inaugurate in + Augur(e) […] More

  • Word Matrix: Thank

    Word Matrix: Thank

    <thank> “thought, gratitude; think, feel,” from Old English þancian, þoncian, compare related Old English noun þanc, þonc Words Sums Thank + s -> thanks Thank + ed -> thanked Thank + ing -> thanking Thank + ful -> thankful Thank + ful + ness -> thankfulness Thank + ful + ly -> thankfully un + Thank + ful -> […] More

  • Word Matrix Sign

    Word Matrix: Sign

    <sign> from Latin signum “identifying mark, token, indication, symbol; proof” Words Sums (248) Sign -> sign Sign + s -> signs Sign + ed -> signed Sign + ing -> signing Sign + ing + s -> signings Sign + er -> signer Sign + er + s -> signers Sign + ee -> signee […] More

  • Word Matrix: Leve

    Word Matrix: Leve

    I always misspell the word <relevant> as <*relavant> based on a thinking that <relevant> is related to <relative>. I recently decided to look up <relevant> to do a word study in the hopes of teaching myself the correct spelling. If SWI could help me remember the spelling of <tomorrow> by learning that <To + Morrow […] More

  • Word Matrix: Anxi

    Word Matrix: Anxi

    <Anxi> ‪”uneasy, troubled in mind” from Latin anxius Note: The base is <anxi>. The <i> is part of the base because two connecting vowels cannot occur in a row. Anxi + e + ty -> anxiety Anxi + e + ty + es -> anxieties Anxi + ous -> anxious Anxi + ous + ly […] More

  • Word Matrix: Doodle

    Word Matrix: Doodle

    While reading some books about the history of words earlier this year, I came across the word <fopdoodle>, which means “a stupid or insignificant fellow, a fool, a simpleton.” The morpheme <doodle> means “fool, simpleton” and is of unknown origin. The noun meaning “simple fellow” is attested from 1620s. My family has been using the […] More

  • Word Matrix: D ("set, put")

    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 the meaning. As Gina Cooke of Linguistic Educators Exchange pointed out to me on Twitter, at least two distinct <d> base elements exist. The words <add> and <addition> come from the PIE root *do- […] More

  • Word Matrix: Ply ("lay, fold, twist")

    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 is the smallest unit of meaning in a language. All words consist of at least one morpheme. As a structured word inquirer, I clearly think studying morphemes is helpful, and the example of <reply> […] More

  • Word Matrix: Stude

    Word Matrix: Stude

    <stude> “learn, examine, show zeal for” from Old French estudiier, from Medieval Latin studiare, from Latin studium “study, application,” originally “eagerness,” from studere “to be diligent” Words Sums Stude + y -> study Stude + y + es -> studies Stude + y + ed -> studied Stude + y + ing -> studying Out […] More

  • Word Matrix: D ("give")

    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 turning in bed, I decided to peruse linguistics Twitter. I came upon a tweet from fellow word inquirer Sally Cole asking if <add> and <*addit> are twin bases. I quickly fell down a word […] More

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