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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The enchanting story of words | Rajan Philips, Oman Observer

English is one of the most dynamic languages that enriches its vocabulary through generous borrowing and novel adaptations.
So begins this article by Rajan Philips. He continues with this example:
What is common to all these ‘common’ English words? Alcohol, admiral, albatross, chemistry, algebra, camphor, decipher and magazine? Believe it or not, all these have come into English from Arabic. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of these.
Philips tells the stories of admiral and magazine and add other stories for these words:
  • vermicelli, paparazzi -- both Italian
  • money -- French, Latin
  • echo, tantalize -- both Greek.
He concludes:
Words and their enchanting origin will never cease to surprise or delight those who embark on an exploration of this exquisite treasure house of the language.
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For other similar articles, check out Garbl's Word Links. It's an annotated directory of websites that can help you discover, understand and use (or avoid) Latin and Greek derivations, misused words, unusual words, word origins, new words and slang. You'll also find separate sections below on spelling and vocabulary.


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