Words around us
Play a while
JUST as a kangaroo
carries its young one in its pouch, ‘kangaroo word’ is a
word that carries within it a synonym of itself. For instance,
‘encourage’ is a kangaroo word because it carries ‘urge’
within its spelling and ‘evacuate’ is another one as it has
‘vacate’ in it. ‘Urge’ and ‘vacate’ are thus ‘child’
words, or ‘joey’ words. Some more such kangaroos are exist
(is), façade (face), assured (sure), spoiled (soiled) and
illuminated (lit). Try spotting the joey of indolent, rotund,
utilise, recline, clue and appropriate.
Learn a little
worry about vocabulary and try to achieve proficiency through
lengthy lists. A vocabulary is not composed of long words
solely; it also includes language forms that are not full words
(e.g. un-, -ment), compound words (e.g. supermarket) and phrases
(to make up for). In the first five years of learning, language
users need to learn around 2,000 most useful items. These
high-frequency items remain with them always. Later on, as per
profession, they usually pick up around 1500 low-frequency items
that may or may not be specific to their field.
Words reflect the
world around us. The economic concerns of the past few years
have created words that are a spin-off on financial practices.
Taking a cue from Levitt and Dubner’s freakonomics, the word
‘freeconomics’ was coined to give a label to ‘the business
practice of giving away goods and services as a means of gaining
new business or retaining existing customers’. To pay
attention to ecology, environmental conscious economic practice
was termed ‘ecolonomics’. ‘Womenomics’ acknowledges the
increasing role women play in economics and ‘enronomics’
pays tribute to the Enron company by giving a name to any
business practice based on fraudulent accounts.
The addition of
one article, ‘the’ can change meaning. When a warning is
issued or an announcement is made, you say: ‘In future, anyone
returning books late will pay a fine’. But when you are
talking about an event at some time in the future you say: ‘In
the future, it is quite possible that a new source of energy
will be discovered’.