WordFocus.com

focusing on words and literature

Etymology

Most of the English language has its roots in other languages. The etymology of a word means “the root or origins of the word.” The English language, which began as Anglo-Saxon, derived most if its words from the Latin and Greek languages. In the past, it was not uncommon for children to learn Latin in school along with the roots of the English language. Today, a very small number of schools focus on etymology and the Latin and Greek languages.

To know the origin of a language is to determine the history of the language and those who speak it. Language is constantly evolving as society learns and advances technologically. Therefore, it is to every students advantage to know how the English language developed, as well as know stories, oxymora, known incorrectly as oxymorons, pleonasms, or redundancies, and other language terms that are found on this website.


The International English Language

Parts of the English language can be traced as far back as Greek and Roman mythology. Other words are being created daily. The English language is ever-changing, ever-evolving. Whether the words are created from slang or from scientific discoveries, the English language has created more words than any other language in the world. In addition, more people speak English than any other language.

Language is more than just a grouping of words. Language is a valuable tool we use daily to learn and communicate. The more words a person knows, the better equipped he or she is to learn about any subject.

Today’s society is a global-economic society. Without a proper grasp of language and communication, one cannot succeed. Did you know the chances of your success in any career field have a direct correlation to the size and scope of your vocabulary?

You don’t have to spend hours memorizing words and their definitions to increase your vocabulary. Instead, try becoming conscious of the words you use daily. Besides learning their definitions, try learning the roots and origins of the words.


Modern English

What we term “modern English” began in the 16th century. Until the 16th century, learning and scholarly study were limited to members of the clergy. During the 16th century, it became allowable, by law, for anyone to study and learn.

Writers, thinkers and philosophers began studying the works of Plato, Horace, Homer and Cicero. It was here that our language began the derivation from the Latin and Greek works being studied. It was during this time when speakers of the English language looked to Greek and Latin languages when forming and creating new words.