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. 

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