Tag Archives: foreign languages

The Weekly Text, January 15, 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Latin Word Root Medi-

The Weekly Text from Mark’s Text Terminal for Friday, January 15, 2021, is a lesson plan on the Latin word root medi. It means middle; unless I miss my guess, you already recognize this as an extremely productive root in English, as well as across the Romance Languages.

I open this lesson with this context worksheet on the noun intermediary. This is a commonly used word in English. Its adjectival form, intermediate, shows up on this scaffolded worksheet on this word root that is the principal work of this lesson.

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.

Accede (vi)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the verb accede. It’s used only intransitively, and relatively rarely, in my experience, despite its stemming from a solid Latin root at the base of many other commonly used words in English. It means “to become a party (as to an agreement),” “to express approval or give consent, give in to a request or demand.” and “to enter upon an office or position.” A near synonym is assent–another intransitive verb meaning “to agree to something esp. after thoughtful consideration.”

If you find typos in this document, 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.

Ad Nauseam

“Ad Nauseam To the point of vomiting: to a sickening or wearisome degree, unrelievedly.

‘Henry Miller couldn’t feel anything and dug graves for a living. William Burroughs was an exterminator, Carl Sandburg was a janitor, Faulkner had to run rum, and so on, ad nauseam.’ Robert Hendrickson, The Literary Life”

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

Word Root Exercise: Acro

Here’s a worksheet on the Greek word root acro, which means high, extremity, and tip.

As you’ll see if you review or use this document–I’m fairly certain I’ve never used it in the classroom–this root produces some relatively specialized words in English. The most common among the assortment are acronym (presumably because one only uses the tips or extremities of words to form acronyms), acrobat (for obvious reasons), and acrophobia, which means, of course, “abnormal dread of being in a high place”, or more simply, “fear of heights.”

If you find typos in this document, 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.

Term of Art: Excursus

“Excursus: (Latin ‘running out’) A detailed examination and analysis of a point often added as an appendix to a book. An incidental discussion or digression.”

Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.

Common Errors in English Usage: Sick (adj), Sic (vt)

Here is an English usage on the adjective sick and the transitive verb sic. Sick needs little elaboration; sic, on the other hand, does, which the reading passage clarifies by pointing up its common use as a transitive verb, generally used in the imperative form when saying to one’s dog, “Sic ’em Rollo!”

However, comprehensively and helpfully, the reading passage in this document explains the use of the Latinism sic, which means thus. If you read, you’ve encountered this (usually in italic type and often with an exclamation point for added ridicule) after a quote that contains errors of fact or lapses in style. Merriam-Webster’s defines the adverb sic as “intentionally so written — used after a printed word or passage to indicate that it is intended exactly as printed or to indicate that it exactly reproduces an original <said he seed [~] it all>.” I think if I were teaching this document to more advanced learners, I would take the time to make sure they understood sic as an editorial annotation so that they might use it in their own writing.

If you find typos in this document, 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.

Word Root Exercise: Lite, Ite

OK, I haven’t published one in some time, so here is a worksheet on the Greek word roots lite and ite. They mean mineral, rock, stone, and fossil, which why you find them at the base of words like granite and bauxite.

In other words these are words used in the sciences–and are therefore important for literacy in science classes.

If you find typos in this document, 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.

Mogul (n)

It’s the Word of the Day at Merriam-Webster, and I was surprised to find I hadn’t already prepared work on it. So here, belatedly, I guess, is a context clues worksheet on the noun mogul. I’ve written the sentences in this document to reflect the meaning of this noun as “a person of rank, power, or influence.”

Don’t forget that this word comes to us from the noun Mughal, which means “an Indian Muslim of or descended from one of several conquering groups of Mongol, Turkish, and Persian origin.” In other words, if you’re teaching globals studies, world history, or whatever your school district names this area of study, this is a word students might need to know.

If you find typos in this document, 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.

Word Root Exercise: Clud, Clus

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word roots clud and clus, which mean “to close.” You’ll find these roots at the base of words like include, exclude, and preclude, as well as recluse, among many others. This can be a tough root for students to define, which is why I should probably, eventually, write it into a lesson plan. The definitions of the words on the worksheet, as students find and record them, don’t show a clear pattern that concludes in “to close.” So, some Socratic question is de rigueur to bring this worksheet to conclusion.

If you find typos in this document, 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.

Cultural Literacy: Hoi Polloi

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the noun hoi polloi, from the ancient Greek meaning “the many.” This noun phrase isn’t much used anymore, perhaps because it has negative or even contemptuous connotations. Still, if we want to produce educated citizens who are capable of sustaining a civil society, this might be a word and concept for them to understand.

If you find typos in this document, 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.