Divisive roots: videre

Word Sum Wednesday: divisive


di+vise+ive-> divisive
This is a word that in invading our homes through the news and social media. I, myself, have even said it several times in the last 48 hours. When I make posts about language, I fear the response will be that I am told I am being divisive when I am challenging the status quo. It is not my intension, but sometimes that is the result. My intension is to create critical thinking, for someone to really evaluate what they know or teach, as sometimes science makes us rethink what we have always thought to be the way things are. 
So, divisive. It is related to <division>, so one might suspect that the Latin root “videre” means to separate. The base is <vise> which has a twin <vide>. (Please note that I said they are bases.) Twin bases happen in Latin all the time. This is why we divide a division problem. <Divide> and <division> relate to separating. The Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root is *weidh “separate.” Etymological relatives include <with> and <widow>.
As I was studying this word, I really wanted to put other words in this matrix (word family) that has the same surface spelling, like <vision> and <evident>. The bases of <vision> is <vise> and the base of <evident> is <vide>, which again are twin base elements. Yet, the denotation of the <vise/vide> base have to do with “see.” Looking deeper, the Latin root is vidēre. While this root may look like the same surface spelling, the diacritical above the <e> is an important Latin distinction.  Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root of vidēre is *weid “to see”.  Since the two PIE roots are different, that means that these bases (the one to separate and the one to see) are not cognate. This is a perfect example that words that are included in a matrix need to pass both the morphological and etymological tests. Etymological relatives include <voila> and <au revoir>.
I cannot leave this discussion with discussing <indivisible> which is in our pledge of allegiance in America. This is the hardest word for students to recite when learning the pledge of allegiance. Many recite it as <invisible> which has the <vise> base of “see,” with a similar surface base spelling but a completely different meaning. It can create some laughs, but imagine if kids were taught the pledge with a little word study? They would understand the word and be able to pronounce proudly as well. With everything political going on, we have become rather divisive as a nation. Although that changes when we encounter misfortune. We come together in crises, which was seen in the Hurricanes, the Las Vegas shootings and the CA wildfires. In those times we are humans with no other classification. We are indivisible.

Word Sum Wednesday: Prerequisite

I began this inquiry with the word <requisite>. It’s not a word I frequently encounter and when I heard it in a conversation, I wondered if the person actually meant <prerequite>. So, I curiously went down the rabbit hole on this adventure to find the answer.
I quickly found that the word <requisite> does exist. Here is a sentence I found it in, “He found most of the requisite funds at the last moment.” It is something that is essential or necessary. When seeking more information in Etymonline, I found that <requisite> is from Latin with the root requirere. The first thing I noticed is that if I take off the Latin infinitive suffix ere, I would get <requir(e)>. It is my first clue that I may have discovered a twin in my inquisition. It would make sense that a <requisite> is a requirement. Upon visiting the Latin dictionary, I find that indeed this is a twin base <quis(e)> and <quir(e)>.
This is quite neat and tidy, but there is something else that tugs at me to explore the rabbit hole further. It is that the etymonline entry for <requisite> indicated that for the most part the word <request> is mostly used in place of this word. It suggested that perhaps there is a connection to <quest> base. It is making me question quite a few things but decide to go further in my inquiry. The word <quest> is something that is asked or sought after. When researching the previous words the root quaerere kept popping up, “to seek, ask.” A connection of the base <quest> has now been connected to the bases <quire/quise>.
English words with the base of <quest> include: question, request, conquest, inquest. Although sequester (as in the separate a jury from the public) might have to do with not “saying,” but it appears that the base in this word has to do with following rather than asking or seeking. <Bequest> was also on my mind, but it turns out it is not etymologically related. The <quest> element is Old English relating to <quoth> and <bequeath>. Looking for “relatives” in the SWI process includes not only passing the structure test but also the meaning (etymological) test. In this case <sequester> and <bequest> did not pass that meaning test to be included. These are important aspects of the scientific inquiry process that surface spelling does not mean that a word or set of words gets included automatically without a series of defined criteria.
I cannot leave this conversation without the word <inquiry>. It too belongs in this set. The word sum is
<in>+<quire>+y–> inquiry.
It is the asking of questions. It is a quest, a seeking out. When we use the term “structured word inquiry” it is about seeking, asking and finding. It is not about being told how things are done or what the rule it. It is about being a detective and a scientist, learning, understanding for yourself as the expert scientist how the English writing system works. When you inquire direction and you acquire that knowledge through scientific inquiry, you feel you can conquer any aspect of our writing system.
A quest always ends with more questions. For further study, are any of these words are related to the above bases: quarrel, conquer, conquistador, lacquer?
Etymonline: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=requisite+
Latin Dictionary: http://www.latin-dictionary.net/search/latin/requirere
Merriam Webster Dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/requisite

Word Sum Wednesday: proclamation

Word Sum Wednesday: proclamation


Proclamation came about when a friend secured a city proclamation to designate October as Dyslexia Awareness month. It got me thinking about what is a proclamation, really. I envision a scroll being unrolled as the townspeople gather while a government official shouts about to the people something that the king or government has declared.

A proclamation is “an official public announcement.” The base of this word is <clam(e)> which is from Latin clamare “to cry out.” So, a proclamation is a public crying out. The word sum is pro+clame/+ate/+ion-> proclamation. The slashes are where the letter before it will be replaced when the word is rewritten on the right side of the arrow. This word has one prefix <pro->, a base <clame>, and two suffixes <-ate> and <-ion>. All of these elements are morphemes. They are not syllables. A word sum is made up of morphemes as that is how words are built.

The relatives of this base include: exclamation, acclamation, declamation, declamatory, reclamation, clamor, and clamorous. An exclamation is to make a loud outcry. So an exclamation mark, essentially marks (in text) when the text is loud.  An acclamation is to shout in approval.  The <ac> of acclamation and the <ap> of applaud are assimilated prefixes of <ad-> denoting “towards.” This is not to be confused with acclimation, which is adjusting to “climate,” or surroundings (which also, by the way, has the same assimilated prefix <ac->). It is because of this prefix that there are 2 <c>’s in acclaim, acclamation and acclimation. Declamation is the act of “speaking rhetorically, pompously or bombastically”. The prefix <de-> is being used as an intensifier. So declamation is being intense in the outcry. To call back again is the act of reclamation, to reclaim something back. Often children and pets can be described with clamor or clamorous because they can be loud.

But what about proclaim? A proclamation is something we “proclaim” so why is it spelled differently? Although this word is Latinate, it came to English through French. When these words came to use through French some changes already started to happen from its road from Latin. This original Latin root <clamare> gives us at least two different English bases: <clame> and <claim>. The base <clame> that we are talking about is a bound base. This means that it requires a prefix or suffix to make an English word. The base <claim> stands alone as a free base, but takes affixes as well. Either way both bases have the same denotation of “crying out.”

proclamation – proclaim
reclamation – reclaim
acclamation – acclaim
declamation – declaim
exclamation – exclaim

The last discussion point is about phonology. Here is these words in IPA /ˌpɹɑklə’meɪʃən/ and /pɹoʊ’kleɪm/. IPA are the symbols that represent phones. There is a shift in stress between <proclaim> and <proclamation>. This is the reason there is a different pronunciation of the first vowels. Stress is where we put the emphasis. Although both take the same prefix, the pronunciation shifts. Another aspect of pronunciation is the <t> is being pronounced as /ʃ/. This is often seen when we have these two suffixes together <-ate> + <-ion> -> <-ation>. The <t> can be pronounces as /ʃ/ before an <i>, and can be seen often in these situations (<– see there is another <t> as /ʃ/).

Well, I hope my proclamation about the base has helped make some connections between words. While I’m not one for exclamation, I’m quite quiet and don’t ever ask for acclamation. Hopefully you can read without too much clamor going on in the background. My goal is to help people get acclimated to word sums.


“Help Make October Dyslexia Awareness Month” Dyslexia Parent Support Group of Huntington Beach, https://www.facebook.com/events/181564559053111/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%2222%22%2C%22feed_story_type%22%3A%2222%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D&pnref=story

“Proclamation.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proclamation.

“Proclamation.” Etymonline, Etymonline, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=proclamation