Pronunciation rules for “CH” and “arch-“

Yesterday I was watching Pokémon where I encountered this word “archenemy”. It is definitely not the first time I am hearing it, though it is the first time I am putting thought into it. When I googled the word arch I found four different meanings and usages. Two of them are just the raw words … Read more

What’s with “star as interesting” and “unstar as interesting”?

These are normal common messages most of us who’ve chatted in SE chat interfaces have seen. I find the way the negation prefix un- “acts” intriguing. Why would I star and unstar a chat message as interesting? Does “unstar as interesting” mean that I unstarred the message because it was interesting? But that doesn’t make … Read more

“Insignificant” or “unsignificant”?

In my job I test different versions of varying degrees on websites. Basically A vs B, and the results of this test determine which version should be developed. The way a winner is chosen is by looking at the data. We can only take action on statistically significant data. When we talk about results some … Read more

Is it okay to use “pre-” in a clause referring to “prelaunch”?

My question has to do with the word “prelaunch.” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the preferred spelling is without a hyphen. In the following clause, is it correct to use the hyphen after “pre”? … through the pre- and postlaunch process … Answer Although the preferred spelling is without a hyphen, the hyphenated version is … Read more

Origin and usage of “nu-” (e.g. nu-metal)

Not every dictionary I checked has “nu-” but here are a few examples: nu- — indicating an updated or modern version of something: nu-metal music Bing — new: new, or modern Google — respelling of ‘new,’ used esp. in names of new or revived genres of popular music. Where did this orginate? Etymonline shows … Read more

Hyphenation of SI prefixes

I constantly see variations in the hyphenization of words containing SI prefixes. Nano-, micro-, milli-, etc. But when is it proper to ditch the hyphen, and when should it be included? For example, my gut instinct as a native speaker tells me to write ‘nanoscale’, but ‘nanocomponent’ seems wrong. I would have written ‘nano-component’ every … Read more

What are antonym-like prefixes to the Greek “crypto”?

What is a prefix that is similar to “public”, or “accessible”, or “ubiquitous” such that it is harmonious with the spirit of currency needing to be of public domain, widely adopted, accessible, etc. It doesn’t have to be of Greek origin, perhaps Latin. Answer Phanæro-, meaning “apparent”. The Cryptozoic (hidden life) was followed by the … Read more

Is/could “noctophyte” be a word?

Let me preface this by saying that I am trying to come up with an interesting-sounding name for gamedev purposes. I’m looking for a potentially imaginary word that can be given a logical definition. “Heliophyte“ is a word that seems to be the combination of the prefix “helio” (meaning sun) and “phyte” (meaning seed or … Read more