What's in a Word | All Blogs


Getting the gist of “ist”

By Debra Dobbins

The word orthodontist has an interesting prefix, root and suffix. “Ortho” means straight. “Dont” means teeth, and “ist” means someone who works in a particular field or someone involved in a cause or way of thinking. Examples: Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, became a famous scientist. Through his efforts to rid the U.S. of slavery, William Lloyd Garrison became a well-known abolitionist.

If we had never seen the word orthodontist before but we knew each of its word parts, we could correctly infer (make an educated guess) that it means someone who is in the business of straightening teeth. Of course, anyone who has worn or is wearing braces right now probably knows the meaning of the word all too well!

Other people involved in a particular field include geologists, florists, biologists and chemists.

A fun way to remember that “ist” means someone is doing something is to think of many instruments in an orchestra and decide what those playing them are called. For example, a musician who plays the violin is a violinist. I’ve come up with at least ten others, which I’ll share tomorrow. How many can you think of?
 

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
Her Countenance Alone
By Randee Bergen
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cool carrot trick - try this if you’re gardening with kids
By Penny Stine
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Leftovers
By Julie Norman
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

From zed to z
By Debra Dobbins
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Frosty herbs
By Penny Stine
Tuesday, April 15, 2014


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Sign in to your account
Information

© 2014 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy