Is the pro in processor Latin or Greek?

I want to describe single processor and many processor systems, and it seems like “uniprocessor” and “multiprocessor” are the accepted terms. However the “pro” in process looks Greek to me, which means that to avoid a Greek/Latin smash-up of prefixes, “monoprocessor” and “polyprocessor” would be better. So is the pro in processor Latin or Greek? … Read more

Is “acediast” too rarefied to be acceptable in literature?

I’m editing a manuscript where the word “acediast” appears a perfect fit, but Merriam-Webster is the only online dictionary I can find that lists it as a word, with the exception of a few scrabble word finders. In fact, searching for the word in Google brings up only ~6k results, compared to ~800k for “acedia.” … Read more

Analogous versus analogue: why the extra “o” after the “g”?

Why does the word analogous have an extra letter o after the g in comparison to the word analogue? How is their origin related to one another? According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, analogue has the following origin: French, analogous, analogue, from Medieval Latin analogus, from Greek analogos, proportionate; … Read more

Why doesn’t “astronomy” end with an “s”?

I heard that many disciplines whose names end with the letter “s” as if they were plural actually came from Greek/Latin words of plural form (e.g. mathematics from mathematika). It seems like, however, some disciplines like astronomy or philosophy also had Greek origins and their original words also ended with the letter “a”. I have … Read more

Homeo- or homoeo-?

“Homeo-” seems to be more widely used nowadays to the extent that “homoeo-” is listed as a variant of it, and “homoeostasis” is listed as a variant of “homeostasis”. However, there are multiple posts that state that “homoeo-” is the right prefix whereas “homeo-” is wrong for various reasons: there’s a difference in meaning – … Read more

English verbs derived from ἄρχω (árkhō)?

I’m a historian, so this isn’t my speciality. I’m looking into the etymology of "to lead" and related verbs. Since there are numerous verbs with some similarity but vastly different etymology (such as lead from Old German, conduct from Latin, guide from French), I wonder if any verbs derive from Old Greek ἄρχω (árkhō), especially … Read more

Why ‘d’ in ‘Aeneid’?

The Latin poem Aeneis is Aeneid in English. How did the last d come about? A few suspects by quick search: /ð/ → /d/ shift in English, but there must be a shift /s/ → /ð/. It seems romance languages write it with d, possibly it came from French? (German does not have d). Answer … Read more

-actic or -acic?

I noticed some time ago that the words climax and thorax, though both from Greek roots, take different suffixes for “concerning —”: -actic and -acic, respectively. A quick Google revealed one more word on each side, syntax (syntactic) and borax (boracic). What are the rules for choosing between these suffixes? Answer As others have mentioned, … Read more

What would be the word for “government by angels”?

Google just gives me the James Madison quote when I research this. The Federalist No. 51 says: It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, … Read more