Saturday, January 28, 2012

Post This


Betty wrote, “I know that the word part –post- means after. How does that tie into the word postulate, a self-evident assumption or axiom that is used in geometry?”

There is no connection. With surprising frequency, word parts with no connection to each other accidentally wind up with identical spelling, the very same letter sequence, even though the meaning and the source are miles apart.

A classic example is the word part –ped-. It can mean foot (pedal), child (pediatrician), or soil (pedocal). Another example is the word part –in-. It can mean inside (instill), but it can also mean not (insane).

Back to –post-. Postulate comes from a Latin word that means a demand, a forceful request. Other words sharing that same root are expostulate, postulant, and postulative. The -post- that means later in time shows up in words such as post-game, postpartum, and postmortem. A slightly different shade of meaning, behind in position, shows up in postaxial, posterior, and postchoroid.

Post—the sturdy piece of timber—comes from another source entirely, and has no connection to the word parts above.


Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

Check out Mike's program-based books here:
Amazon.com

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com and clicking on Listen Now.

There is a collection of podcasts. Go to wtcmradio.com and click on Podcasts. Scroll down The Ron Jolly Show to find the Words to the Wise audio button.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Dona Sheehan's prints