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A.Word.A.Day--cognate

    What to give to the person who has everything? Give the gift of words.
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cognate (KOG-nayt) adjective

1. Related by blood; having a common ancestor.

2. Related in origin, as certain words in genetically related languages descended from the same ancestral root; for example, English name and Latin nomen from Indo-European no-men-.

3. Related or analogous in nature, character, or function.

cognate noun

1. One related by blood or origin with another, especially a person sharing an ancestor with another.

2. A word related to one in another language.

[Latin cognatus : co- + gnatus, born, past participle of nasci, to be born.]

"...one thing languages do over time is get rid of old words and replace them with new ones. Take the word for fire. In most Germanic languages, Ringe says the various words are all cognate, they all share a common ancestor." The Evolution of Linguists Through Computers, Weekend Edition - Sunday (NPR), 10 Mar 1996.

"Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them." With these powerful words from Nathaniel Hawthorne as preface, this week let's look at some words about words. -Anu

X-Bonus

When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness. -Joseph Campbell


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