...a true word wizard, Dr. David Larrick. Doc, as we call him, is one of the founders of Dynamic Literacy and a key developer of WordBuild. Now retired from teaching in schools (he does still teach some Latin courses at the local community college), Doc is one of those teachers students always remember - in a good way!
I'm very happy to tell you that Doc is going to start contributing content to this newsletter. Here is his first "blurb."
It's September--time for summer vacations to end, for back-to-school sales, for learning and understanding new stuff. "One thing I can't understand," said a friend recently,"is why September isn't the seventh month. I thought septem meant seven."
Here's the scoop: Septem does indeed mean seven in Latin, and September was indeed the seventh month--that is, when March, not January, was the first month.
March, when spring starts, was the month for fresh beginnings. New Year's Day for the ancient Romans was March 1. The U.S. Constitution originally required presidential inaugurations to be held in early March. But situations change: the Romans moved the beginning of the calendar back a couple months, and our 20th Amendment hurried along new inaugurations by a couple months. However, the name September, 7th month, mistakenly remains for the 9th month. As often happens, some great history lies hidden under names and words. Never underestimate the ability of words to teach new things!
NEW! NEW! NEW! - "Ask Doc"
Do you have a question about the meaning or origin of a word? Reply to this newsletter with your question and maybe Doc will answer it in an upcoming edition of