The English vocabulary development activities and resources in this and related sites are based primarily on Latin and Greek elements that are included in thousands of English terms and expressions. A very small number of schools currently provide learning situations and activities that include vocabulary etymology and histories; therefore, it is advantageous for students to learn more about English development, as well as, oxymora (a.k.a. oxymorons), stories, pleonasms (redundancies), and other related terms that are provided online with this Focusing on Words site.
To know the origin of words is to know how men think, how they have fashioned their civilizations. Word history traces the paths of human relationships, the bridges from mind to mind, and from nation to nation.
Some of the words in English can be traced to a remote past; some have histories that began yesterday or are even beginning today. Slow changes, swift new coinages of science or slang, ancient or recent borrowing from many tongues; together they give flexibility, power, and beauty to English, the richest and most widespread language of all time.
Remember, words are the tools with which you think, communicate, and learn. The more words you know, the better you can think, communicate, and absorb knowledge; not just about English, but about everything that is important to you.
The more limited your vocabulary is, the harder survival is in our global-economic society; and certainly you want more than just to survive. It is an indisputable fact that your chances for success increase with the size and applications of your vocabulary.
Building a larger vocabulary doesn't require you to spend hours memorizing definitions; however, it does require that you become word-conscious, that you have a curiosity about words, not only about their meanings but especially about their origins.
Without considering the immense number of words that we have constantly borrowed from every language with which English-speaking people have been in contact, we owe a large volume of our words to the period that we call "Modern English", beginning, roughly, with the sixteenth century.
Scholarship, previously limited largely to the clergy, was opened to just about every one, and the study of classical learning became the ultimate way to be educated.
Writers and thinkers sprang up from every walk of life, and did not hesitate to select, or to choose, their words from the Latin of Cicero, or Horace, or Ovid, or Seneca.
Many also went to the Greek of Aeschylus, or Plato, or Plutarch to derive their words. It is thus chiefly through these writers and their unceasing stream of successors that the great bulk of words derived directly from Latin and Greek ancestry and meanings have entered our language.
From this practice also has descended our present custom of looking to one or another of those languages for the formation of new words, especially those of scientific nature.
As stated earlier, words are the building blocks of thought. They are the means by which we understand the ideas of others and express our own opinions. It is only logical then that people who know how to use words concisely and accurately find it easier to achieve their aims.
In fact, you should realize that formal education has less relationship to vocabulary achievement than you might expect, indicating that people can improve their word power on their own. This and the related linking sites will show you how to expand and to improve your English vocabulary skills. Now, it is up to you to take advantage of these rich vocabulary resources!
In fact, you may do a search for words in this other site by using the box below:
This site includes many words that are used in our modern age, especially those from "Latin-Greek sources".
This Google search space is another convenient tool that will help you find information on this Word Focus site or on the internet.
This advanced English-vocabulary language site is here as a guide by your side so you can experience the wonder of words and the English language. Get more information at this Word Info page.
The more words you know, the more clearly and powerfully you will think and the more ideas you will invite into your mind.
This vocabulary resource was conceived on February 9, 1996.
Its debut took place on April 1, 1996, and is updated as often as possible.
by Senior Scribe Publications,
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Words are one of our chief means of adjusting to all the situations of life. The better control we have over words, the more successful our adjustment is likely to be.