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Welcome to issue #27 of Words Matter, our bi-weekly newsletter
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Joined at the hip
As you probably know, Lewis Carroll delighted the English-speaking world with his wonderland episodes starring Alice, not only with their brilliant characters and their numbers and logic puzzles (he was, after all an Oxford professor of mathematics), but also with their word play. The principle behind WordBuild's morphics provides readers with the ability to enjoy Lewis Carrol's love of words.
No less a character than Humpty Dumpty introduced the concept of slipping one word form into another, as if telescoping two words into one.He explained such words to Alice by using an analogy with the French word for compartmentalized suitcase:
portmanteau, which, since 1872, has been a linguistic term. Two of the most famous Lewis Carroll coinages, smog (smoke plus fog) and chortle (chuckle plus snort), have become standard English words.
Sometimes portmanteau words are made up of one whole word combined with part of another, as in bookmobile, medicare, email, gerrymander, staycation, or docudrama, but there are many interesting modern examples of true telescoping of words. (Incidentally, the word modern is actually an old portmanteau from the Latin modus hodiernus, meaning "the manner of today".) See if you can figure out how each of the original words operates in the new coinage: for example, a motel is so called because it is a hotel that is easily accessible from your drive-up motor vehicle.--Doc
Morpheme of the week:The root PORT
Enjoy this brief video that comes directly from WordBuild Elements Level 2.
The root PORT
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