Tag Archives: word of the day

Air

As I blog my way through my study of Italian, I am considering bring the “Word of the Day” back.

For several years, I posted consistently.  Then, in the craziness that was for me 2016, I dropped the ball.  But, I miss it.

I am going to attempt to resurrect the habit.  We shall see.

I will attempt to blog my way through the “language museum” located at the end of the Loom of Language.

Here goes:

Air: the invisible gasses that make up the atmosphere.  Air comes from Old French, air.  which came from Latin aer (atmosphere, sky; cloud).  The Latin word is related to the Greek αέρ (modern αέρας).

The word Air looks familiar in many modern Latin-derived languages.

  • French – l’air
  • Italian – l’aria
  • Spanish – el aire
  • Portuguese – o ar

Logos

The Greek word, Λόγος (lógos) means: word.  

Sort of.

Logos is a bit complicated.  There is a lot to it.  It can mean any of the following:

1.  That which is said: word, sentence, speech, story, debate, utterance.

2.  That which is thought: reason, consideration, computation, reckoning.

3.  An account, explanation, or narrative.

4.  Subject matter.

From the Greek word λόγος, English gets a dump truck full of words.  Watch for these words in the days ahead.

Verbiculture

Verbiculture: the production of words. 

Yep.  It’s really a word.

From Latin verbum (word) and the Latin verb colo, colere, colui, cultus: to live in, inhabit; till, cultivate, promote growth.

Verbiculture, which shows up in almost no dictionaries, was coined in 1873 by Coined by Fitzedward Hall, in “Modern English.  Mr. Hall was one of the early collaborators in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). 

Ironically, verbiculture, meaning, the production of words, has not caught on.

Men ever had, and ever will have leave,

To coin new words well suited to the age,

Words are like leaves, some wither every year,

And every year a younger race succeeds.

-Horace, Roman poet (65 BC)

Verb

Verb: In grammar, a part of speech that expresses action, motion, being, suffering, or a request or command to do anything.  A verb may also show state of existence. 

The verb affirms, declares, asks or commands; as, I write; he runs; the river flows; they sleep; we see; they are deceived; they depart; they go; they come. 

The verb may also show state of existence; as in, Italy is in Europe.

The verb is the main assertive word in any sentence.

When the action expressed by a verb is exerted on an object, or terminates upon an object, the act is considered as passing to that object.  In this case, the verb is called transitive.  For example, I read the book.

When the act expressed by the verb, terminates in the agent or subject, the verb is intransitive; as in, I run, I walk, or I sleep.

When the agent and object change places and the agent becomes the instrument, the verb is passive; as in, Goliath was killed by David.

From Latin verbum (word).

Happy New Month!

Happy New Month!

July: The seventh month of the year, during which the sun enters the sign Leo. It is so called from Julius, the surname of Caius Caesar, who was born in this month. Before that time, this month was called Quintilis, or the fifth month, according to the old Roman calendar.  Back then, March was the first month of the year.

July made its way into English via the Norman word, Julie.  Naturally, the Normans picked the word out of Old French where it was, Jule.  The Latin word julius probably came from jovialis (of Jupiter, descended from Jupiter). 

As an aside, if you want to see Jupiter, look into the night sky these days.  Do you see those two bright stars right next to each other?  They are not stars.  They are Jupiter and Venus.  They’ve been hanging out with each other lately.