April 19, 2011

Vocabulary through Roots-Part I

Dear friends,
Vocabulary plays an important role in verbal section of CAT, but getting well prepared for Vocab. Is a job   which needs regular studies and smart studies. You might have been noticed that several words which are in common use have some common roots like 'CIRCUM', 'PRE' etc. Its easy to learn those words if you know the meaning of these roots. Today we will discuss about some word roots.
Let's start with the root word 'loq' and (related roots such as 'loqui', 'loqu' and 'loc'). These similar roots all mean 'To speak' and are derived from the language of Latin.
Here are some of the many words derived from these roots and their meaning:
Loquacious : Means extremely talkative (a synonym for this is garrulous, verbose etc, while antonyms would be taciturn, laconic, pithy, terse etc)
Circumlocution: Another root that you should know is 'circum', meaning 'around'. Circumlocution therefore means an indirect or roundabout way of expressing oneself, not coming to the point, 'to beat around the bush' etc
Elocution: Is a word that we are all familiar with; meaning a public speech. Remember the elocution contest you may have participated in or watched in school?
Eloquent: A similar word. It means to be fluent, expressive/ clear in communicating while speaking.
Soliloquy: Another word using two roots-'loq' and 'solo' (meaning one/ single). A 'soliloquy' therefore means a speech or talk to oneself/ a monologue
Interlocutor: Again a word with two roots- 'loc' and 'inter' (which means 'between' or 'among'. The word 'interlocutor' therefore means one who takes part in a conversation/ speech.
There is one caveat here. Do not confuse this root with the other ‘loc’ which also comes from Latin and means 'place'. The most common word with this root is perhaps ‘location’.
Other words using this root, referring to place, are: ‘Locomotion’ (also ‘Locomotive’) –the act of moving from place to place; ‘Locate’ – to specify a place to or to find the place of etc
Now let us consider another important root: the root ‘peri’ means ‘around’.
Pericarp: Refers to the skin or shell of a fruit or vegetable (it is something that goes ‘around’ the fruit or vegetable
Pericentric: As the word clearly suggests, means to be ‘around’ the centre of something
Periphery: refers to the boundary ‘around’ something
Perimeter: Every Maths student knows this word only too well! It means the measurement ‘around’ a closed figure
Peripatetic: Means to be walking or wandering 'around' from place to place, having no fixed place (like a nomad)
Here are some more roots-which all mean the same thing-'power': 'poten', 'potes', 'poss'
These roots are derived from Latin.

Potent/ Potency: A commonly used word. To be 'potent' means to be powerful or capable of doing something
Potentate: A 'potentate' is a ruler, a king, a monarch ('mono' means 'one', so 'monarch refers to a single or one ruler)
Potentiate or potentize:Means to imbibe with potential or to make something powerful
Omnipotent: Means to be all powerful ('omni' is also a root, meaning 'all')
Potential: A very common word, meaning having the power to develop further in the future
Posse: A posse is an armed group, or a group with legal power
Possess: Another common word derived from the same root and meaning to have in power



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