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Feb 25, 2013
This week's theme
Words made with combining forms

This week's words
logophile
homologous
hagiarchy
archetype
dactylography

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Some play with construction games like Legos or Lincoln Logs or Meccano. I play with words. I make them by arranging prefixes and suffixes and combining forms.* When you spend so much time with words they begin to come alive.

Some of these combining forms have a specific preference for where they go: front or back. Others can go either way. For example, today's word begins with the form logo-, which can also go at the end of words, as in sociology.

Sometimes a form can combine with itself to create a word, as in logology (study of words). Of course, you can have more than two combining forms come together in a word as well. Before things get too wild though, let's look at this week's words made with combining forms.

* What are combining forms? You can think of them as Lego (from Danish, leg: play + godt: well) bricks of language. As the term indicates, a combining form is a linguistic atom that occurs only in combination with some other form which could be a word, another combining form, or an affix. Unlike a combining form, an affix can't attach to another affix.

logophile

PRONUNCIATION:
(LOG-uh-fyl)

MEANING:
noun: One who loves words.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek logo- (word) + -phile (lover). Earliest documented use: 1959.

USAGE:
"I treasure my printed OED -- as a memento of my logophile grandfather."
Dictionaries: Finding Their Ideal Format?; The Economist (London, UK); Nov 22, 2012.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
When you see a man led to prison say in your heart, "Mayhap he is escaping from a narrower prison." And when you see a man drunken say in your heart, "Mayhap he sought escape from something still more unbeautiful." -Kahlil Gibran, poet and artist (1883-1931)

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