Friday, November 29, 2013

When was the last time you were "gruntled?"

I was reading an article on the Mental Floss site - 12 Lonely Negative Words. It's a fascinating discussion of why we can be "disgruntled," for example, but we can never be "gruntled." If you read the article, please read the comments. They are a wonderful discussion of the curiosities of the English language.

The un - obversive side - tricky

One of my favourite lessons, when I taught High School English, was to take a base word from Latin and add a number of latin prepositions to it. (Well I liked the lesson, maybe the kids didn't that much.) For example, I would take the word "versus" (verse) meaning, to turn and we would begin creating a list of words based on variations of that meaning, such as:

adverse, averse, converse, traverse, transverse, obverse (a favourite), reverse, inverse, universe, diverse, perverse etc.

Please add any I have missed. Also add a favourite Latin word of your own, with lots of English "spin-offs."

There are many excellent Latin verbs to choose from. I particularly liked the word "to turn." It has a lot to do with the inherent puns - "turn of phrase," "spin-off" and so on. I know that some people do math problems all day long. I could spend the day inventing new words or bringing some old ones back to life!!

The picture? The obverse side of a coin or medal is the one with the head on it.

Have a scrutable day!!

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