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    Presumption, like presume, can be used in various senses such as overconfidence or arrogance (his presumption in announcing a date for their engagement without waiting   Read More ...

    Did you know: The early Greek cities were commonly built on top of hills to make it easier to fortify and defend them in case   Read More ...

    Did you know: The Latin word texere means to weave. Texture, thus, originally referred to the art of weaving and we now use it in   Read More ...

    Did you know: Prolific comes from French prolifique, which is in turn derived from Latin proles (progeny or offspring) + root of facere (to make). A prolific artist, thus, is   Read More ...

    academic-english

    Vertigo and Acrophobia : Similar But Not Same

    Morbid fear of heights, especially when it is irrational (for e.g. when one is not particularly high up or is safely secured) – is often   Read More ...

    political-science

    Anarchy, Archipelago, Archive, Tyranny

    Greek arkhos means chief, leader or ruler and if we add the prefix an- (without) to it we get anarchy, which literally means without a   Read More ...

    Indulge comes from Latin indulgere (treat with undue favour, give rein to). A father indulging his child is thus pampering her and when one indulges one’s craving, one allows one’s cravings a free rein. From this indulgent gets the sense of permissive or tolerant (as in, indulgent grandparents). Latin licere means to be permitted or allowed from which we get licence and licentious – which has taken on the negative connotation of sexually   Read More ...

    Greek arkhos means chief, leader or ruler and if we add the prefix an- (without) to it we get anarchy, which literally means without a ruler and is often used to refer to a state of disorder and chaos (esp social or political, such as can be expected when there is no ruler). An anarchist, one the other hand, is a person who believes that there should be no government   Read More ...

    Related to Latin regere (to guide, keep straight) is another Latin root rex (or reg-) meaning king. A regal stride or stance is thus ‘king-like’ and regalia literally means (rights and privileges) of the king or queen. Later, regalia also began to be used to refer to the crown, emblems, ornaments etc used at the coronation, from which it gets its sense of elaborate clothes or decorations, as in, the   Read More ...

    Adding cor- to Latin regere (to guide, keep straight) gives us corrigere (to correct). A corrigible criminal can thus be corrected or reformed and a corrigible child is receptive of correcting advice. A hardened criminal on the other hand might prove incorrigible and an incorrigible youngster is difficult to control or manage. If we replace cor- with de- we get Latin derigere (to straighten, to guide) the past participle of which   Read More ...

    The early societies of hunters and herders were often based on communism. But with the appearance of private wealth and the development of towns and cities inhabited by diverse people, some people emerged to ‘guide’ the rest. Gradually guides transformed into governors and governors into rulers. It’s interesting to note how the meaning of words like Latin regere has changed over time. Latin regere originally meant to guide or keep   Read More ...

    Latin agere means to do, drive or lead and gives us words such as agile (one who can do things easily or is quick-moving/active, as in, he has an agile mind), agility (this gymnast’s agility is exceptional), agent (person or thing that acts or does things, often on behalf of others), reagent (substance that enables or acts in a chemical reaction) and agency. For regent (a person appointed to govern   Read More ...

    Political originally meant concerned with policy or administration of the polis. As the competition for the control of city administration increased, people resorted to unfair means and the very word politics became synonymous with power struggle and manipulation (as in play politics or office politics). Politic (originally: constitutional), similarly carries both positive and negative connotations. It is generally used to mean judicious or prudent (as in, they found it politic   Read More ...

    Assume, like presume, has taken on various senses in its history. When we say ‘I assumed he will not be interested’ we are using it in a similar sense as presume (i.e. take it for granted) and when someone assumes an office or new responsibilities he is taking on new responsibilities (of the office). Similarly, if someone assumes a tough stance or assumes a cooperative attitude they have adopted or taken   Read More ...

    The English word father has come from the Proto-Indo-European root pəter – which is also related to Sanskrit pitar (पितर), Greek and Latin pater and Old Farsi pita. The Greek word for father is pappas, from which we get papa, pope and papal – which means ‘relating to the pope’ – as in papal blessings or papal audience. A related Greek word patria, which meant family, has given us patriarch. Originally used for   Read More ...

    Did you know: Before coins and other forms of token money were invented, many societies commonly used cattle as currency and an indicator of wealth. In India, for instance, the term pasu-dhan (पशु-धन) has been in use since ages; in Ireland, “cattle…were used as currency up to around 1400 CE, long after the introduction of coinage” and in some African communities, the bride-price or lobola, continued to be paid in cattle   Read More ...

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