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Dec 21, 2020
This week’s theme
Words made with combining forms

This week’s words
misocainea
polygyny
audiophile
deontology
silvicolous

Previous week’s theme
One thing leads to another ...
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Imagine you have a fully constructed Lego project. When you start taking it apart, you misunderstand where one brick ends and another begins and you break a brick into two.

Combining forms are the Legos of word construction. This misinterpreting of boundaries of pieces happens in language sometimes. The word helicopter is constructed with helico- (spiral) + -pter (wings). People broke the word into heli- + -copter and formed new words such as helipad and quadcopter.

This week’s words are also made with building blocks, known as combining forms. If you get curious and decide to explore individual blocks, please do not break them in the wrong place. We even give you the parts we have used in building them, so no excuses:

miso- (hate), poly- (many), audio- (sound), deont- (obligation), silvi- (wood),
and
-cainea (new), -gyny (woman), -phile (love), -logy (study), -colous (inhabiting).

On second thought, if you did break them in the wrong place, what new words could you make? Share your linguistic inventions below or email us at words@wordsmith.org.

Our apologies to the English language in advance for whatever mishandling you might be subjecting it to with our encouragement.

misocainea

PRONUNCIATION:
(mis-oh-KY-nee-uh, mi-soh-)

MEANING:
noun: A hatred of new ideas.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek miso- (hate) + -cainea (new). Earliest documented use: 1905.

USAGE:
“A crucial objective of our program is to remove any innate misocainea ‘hatred of new ideas’, and replace it with the entrepreneurial principle of ‘change is an opportunity to create competitive advantage’.”
Bill Weaver; Change for the Better; Scientific Computing & Instrumentation (Morris Plains, New Jersey); Jan 2005.

See more usage examples of misocainea in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The tragedy in the lives of most of us is that we go through life walking down a high-walled lane with people of our own kind, the same economic situation, the same national background and education and religious outlook. And beyond those walls, all humanity lies, unknown and unseen, and untouched by our restricted and impoverished lives. -Florence Luscomb, architect and suffragist (1887-1985)

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