The Weekly Text, October 27, 2018

As Mark’s Text Terminal prepares its move away from New York City, things have gotten a bit hectic around the warehouse. More news on this will follow (not that it’s especially interesting).

In the meantime, this week’s Text is five worksheets on the homophones rein, rain, and reign.

Over the years, I have noticed students struggling with the intransitive verb reign. This verb, which doesn’t morph at all in its transition to a noun, comes from the Latin regnumwhich means kingdom. Keen observers will detect regnum as the basis of all kinds of words relating to ruling, not the least of which is regent. At the root of these words is the Latin reg, which means rule. This root shows up all around the Romance languages, and it shouldn’t be hard for native Spanish speakers–I work with many and pull this parlor trick all the time with them–to recognize their word Rey in this, i.e. king. Long story short? This little Latin root–reg–is at the core of a startling number of words across the Romance languages and English and can therefore be used profitably at some length for building vocabulary and developing understanding of the concepts the words represent.

Homophone worksheets as I conceive them are simply a slightly different approach to vocabulary building that a simple context clues worksheet with a focus on a single word. Also, it seems to me that kids in high school ought to know the use of the word rein, particularly as a transitive verb.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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