Why do some words with similar meanings sound similar as well?

I just noticed while writing a few examples of similar words that uncannily sound like each other phonetically. Examples: An example is the similar words: “gleaming”, “glittering”, “glinting”, and “glimmering”. Also: “repulsive” and “repugnant” are interesting. There are more words like this but I can’t think of them immediately on the spot. Obviously English is … Read more

I need a word for my obscure phobia for hard, smooth structures

If I let myself, I become upset and a bit terrified by smooth hard structures. A good example is the most perfect sphere in the world, seen here. It’s a polished sphere of solid silicon-28. The metal cylinder held by the host later in the video also creeps me out. A sphere of smooth concrete, … Read more

Why are there two Rs in “arrhythmic”?

It seems to me combining “a-“and “rhythmic” would intuitively be spelled “arhythmic”. Is there a rule or some other practical reason that it’s spelled arrhythmic? Answer Actually, “arhythmic” is recognized by many dictionaries as an alternate spelling (for example, Merriam Webster). As Henry notes, the Greek word is ἄρρυθμος “arrhythmos”, so the spelling with one … Read more

What is the opposite of an epiphany?

I think of an epiphany as a “eureka moment” as in a goldminer crying out, “Eureka!” upon discovering a vein of gold (I’m a native Californian (and former resident of Eureka), so that example comes readily to mind). What about the opposite, though – an “Oh, no!” moment? Such as, “What I thought was gold … Read more

“Rogative” root (as in prerogative, derogative, interrogative)

Prerogative, derogative, and interrogative all seem to have the root “rogative” (or perhaps it’s not a root at all) and I’m wondering what it means. I was having trouble seeing a connection between the three words. For assistance, here are their dictionary definitions: Prerogative: A right or privilege exclusive to a particular individual or class. … Read more

Is there any dictionary that decomposes an English word into prefix, root, and suffix?

Is there any dictionary that shows the decomposition of each word into these three parts, if application at all? For instance, “incapable” is divided into prefix “in”, root “cap”, and suffix “able”. Thanks in advance. Answer Most of them if they give an etymology. Taking your examples, the OED gives: medieval Latin incapābilis, < in- … Read more