Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Word Wednesday--Ixes

Almost like the Do-re-me song, when you know the basics, you can create fabulous music with your words. 

[vid of Do re me song from the Sound of Music]

We discussed a bit about words last week--how they have a history and a basic element, sort of like in chemistry. When you add more elements to the basic one, new compounds are created. Root words have "-ixes" added to them to change their meanings--affixes, which can be divided into prefixes and suffixes. At least that's what I learned in school. Apparently, there are a whole slew more of them nowadays (no, I did not go to school in a one-room schoolhouse, although my dad did).

Prefix: An affix added to the beginning of a word to change its meaning. Ex: wanted becomes unwanted with the prefix un-.

Suffix: An affix added to the end of a word. Ex: -ly added to quick to make the adverb quickly.

Affix: An element of a word that is combined with other elements to change the meaning of the word. An affix can be either a prefix or a suffix in the English language.

Now, according to Wikipedia (I know, great reference source, Lynne), there are quite a few others that I use, but didn't think of as affixes.

There are: 

Infix: Cuts into the middle of a word. Massa-freakin'-chusetts.

Duplifix: Rhymes with the root or stem. Like the "itsy bitsy spider".

Interfix; Links two root words. Wikipedia gave the example of "speed-o-meter". I'm too tired to think of one of my own right now. 

Circumfix: Two parts of the affix sandwich the root. Dis-figure-ment.

Simulfix: The root word changes when it becomes plural. Sing to sang.

Suprafix: Where the stress is placed on different syllables of the word, thus changing the meaning. Again, lazy/tired. Gonna use Wikipedia's example of pro-duce (vegetables) vs pro-duce (to make).

Please note that these are all examples from English. There may be others. If you know of them, please let me know. I always like to learn. Most of the time. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Word Wednesday: Intro

I have always loved words—the way a simple synonym can subtly change a meaning, the way they flow together to create new worlds. And yes, I was one of those weird kids in school that loved diagramming sentences. 

Word Wednesday is all about words--their uses, their misuses, their oddities and their simplicities. This week, since we’re just starting out, let’s define some of the words we’ll be using pretty regularly. Bear in mind that I’m not here to argue semantics (ooh! I’ll add that to my definitions) and any nitpicking will be subsequently ignored as I am a busy person looking for less stress, not more. My former middle school Earth Science teacher introduced me to the concept of K.I.S.S., an idea I have become more and more in love with each and every year since.

Semantics: The interpretation of the meaning of a word.

Etymology: The derivation of a word. A word’s “lineage”.

Root:  The base word from which other words can be formed. Ex: the root of “singing” is “sing”.

Next week, we'll talk about -ixes. You'll have to read to find out what I mean. :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kavan Smith was thinking of me!

I thought this deserved special note for a Fanny Friday post. I am a huge fan of Kavan Smith and have been since I first saw his portrayal of Major Evan Lorne in Stargate Atlantis. Unfortunately, I have never been able to afford to go see him at any of the cons he's attended. From all I've heard, he's not only a very down-to-earth man, but also a bit of a naughty boy. Sounds like we'd get along great!

An online friend of mine has met him many times and has become comfortable chatting with him. Recently, she went to see him in Vancouver. She talked to him about me--about how much of a fan I am and my inability to come see him--and this was the result:

I never asked her to get me anything and was completely bowled over to receive this in the mail from her. The fangirl in me squeed like a teenager when I opened the package. :) Mind, hubby's got his nose a bit out of joint over it, but he'll be fine. LOL