What's in a Word | All Blogs


Sailing into the stars of the universe

By Debra Dobbins

Reading the headline above reminded me that we English speakers are not the only ones who create words out of Latin/Greek word parts.

Case in point: We took the Latin word part astro for stars and naut for sailor to create astronaut. Russians took the Latin word cosmos, meaning universe, and added it to naut to create cosmonaut. Despite the slight difference in their names, both astronauts and cosmonauts must be highly educated and undergo rigorous training before they earn the right to explore the wonders of our universe.

The full obituary on Allan Sandage, an astronomer who worked with Edwin Hubble, appears below. An interesting word, limning, is in the final sentence. Webster’s says that it can mean to paint or draw or to describe or portray in words.

Below the article are answers to yesterday’s question on action verbs and direct objects.

SUBJECT-ACTION VERB-DIRECT OBJECT
Below are answers to yesterday’s questions. Words in bold indicate subject-action verb-direct object. The last headline contains a compound subject (scans and pat-downs.) It is written in an abbreviated style, because space did not permit using the helping verb “are” in it.

Meis defies his critics
Official rips Sentinel for coverage of his citation
Horse owner denies deal to cut size of her herd
Ritter defends federal health care to business leaders
Airport body scans, pat-downs (are) irritating the traveling public
 

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