Friday, February 26, 2010

Vocabulary Lesson

os 1 n. pl. ra
  • A mouth or an opening.
os 2 n. pl. os·sa
  • A bone.
As regular readers know, I kind of like when I discover I know something Joe does not. I was working a word puzzle this morning while having my coffee. I needed a two letter word that ended in s, so I asked Joe how to spell os. He said he'd never heard of the word.

I said, "I think it means mouth or opening."

He said, "It should mean bone."

I guess we both were right. But to pat myself a bit more on the back, I have to add that had I not been familiar with the "mouth or opening" meaning, I, too would have guessed "bone", as in osteo.

But here's a little flaw in my thinking. I love words and trying to find patterns and roots and stuff. So as I'm thinking of other os words I know, I thought, "Osmosis. That must be os (opening) + mosis (motion). Therefore, motion through an on opening." Makes sense, right?

But still wrong. That one is apparently from the Greek osmos to push or thrust. No mouth or opning involved. Sigh.

I always wanted to study Greek and Latin. "Had I ever had the opportunity, I should have been a true proficient."


madhenmom said...

You might like doing English From the Roots Up with your kids. I had tried it a number of years ago with Madeline. I'm trying it again now, and it's a little more fun with more than one student and because Madeline is a little older.
I bought the cards this year (about $15, I think) and I don't even bother with the book (although it is helpful for a little intro).
Here's how it plays out:
I'll write the word on the board, for example 'photos', whether it is Greek or Latin (Greek), and its meaning (light). The back of the card has a list of photo words with their meanings - i.e., photograph, (graph - write, draw) = picture drawn by light; telephoto (tele-distant) = light from far away, etc.
Each lesson goes pretty quickly, and I haven't been testing them. We do review on Thursdays when we have the chance. (I'm rather pleased with the method I came up with, but I'll save that for another time.)
Anyway, if you're interested you can use our book. You can make the cards yourself, which we did the first time, but I think they're worth the money.

wv: diesc - In the end, the bad guy dies, see?

theMom said...

I have two of the rummy roots sets that mostly sit in my "school game so don't touch" cupboard where, well, no one touches them. We've had them out maybe two or three times in five years.

They're still in really good condition, though. That's something, right?

Grr. And you're right. I probably would enjoy doing English From The Roots Up.

If I ever did it.