Intro to the Word Power class.

During this class, we will read through all of Word Power Made Easy, by Norman Lewis.

90% of the multi-syllable words in English derive directly from Latin.  In other words, 90% of our “big” words are the children of Latin. 

Much of our scientific and medical terminology derives from Greek.

These days, not many people know Latin and Greek.  Most of us do not immediately spot the connection our vocabulary has with these ancient languages.  Some of us never spot the connections.  Yet, the connections are there.  Those who know Latin and Greek often feel like they have discovered a “back-door” into the English language.

In this class, I am going to guide you through that “back-door.”  You will discover more about English vocabulary than you likely care to know.  In the process, you will also exponentially increase your own personal vocabulary.  Think of words as tools.  An electrician with a tool box full of tools is able to do more than the electrician with one screwdriver.  It is the same with words.  It just so happens, the more you know, the more you will be able to do.

If you do not yet have it, the book is available from Amazon here.

If you prefer a digital copy, simply add it to a google books account here.

Students will read about 15 pages a week from Word Power Made Easy, by Norman Lewis.  This may not seem like much, but, inside those 15 pages they will find plenty to challenge them. 

During class, we will discuss words, and quiz ourselves with the vocabulary we have learned.  I will also invite students into my “workshop.”  For years, I have posted a “word a day” on the Visual Latin facebook page.  I will include students in the process, showing them just how it’s done.

One warning.  The book, Word Power Made Easy, periodically deals with “adult” words.

However, this will be rare, and I will handle such concepts with as much taste and discretion as possible.  

As an example, I know that the word “gynaecologist” comes up in the book we will use, Word Power Made Easy.

The word comes from the Greek word for woman, γυνή (gune), and λογος (logos), meaning “word, or the study of something.”

I would explain this to the students this way.  Outside of the medical field, gynaecology is the study of women.  Inside the medical field, gynaecology is the study of female diseases and female reproductive organs.  

When terms like this arise, I will do everything I can to keep the conversation clinical and intellectual.  However, there is no way around it.  Some potentially shocking terms will come up in class.  

It is for this reason I recommend students are at least in high school. 

I believe this class will be loads of fun.  I really enjoy etymology and will do my best to pass this love onto my students.