Want to know more about the history of words? Are you a dictionary lover? Do you like learning about prefixes, roots, suffixes, phonetics? Learning different languages is an addiction for you? Going through the word list is one of your hobbies? Observing and analyzing words around you comes to you naturally?
Words have energy and power with the ability to help, heal, hurt, humiliate and humble. Let’s understand the origin of the words with spell bee champion and LITKIDS Influencer Bhadra Panicker & use this force constructively. Read this article and get to know more about Etymology, the origin of English, Greek, Latin words and more. Bhadra also shares some interesting tips, tricks, common mistakes to avoid and spelling resources that could help you be at the top of your word game.
LITKIDS is a platform for kids to showcase their skills & talent to the world, to help aspirants learn & develop skills and for achievers to share their knowledge with others.
You can also watch Bhadra’s video and watch her share her tips to improve your vocabulary here.
WHAT IS ETYMOLOGY?
Etymology refers to the origin of the words and how they have traveled through time. A speller may not know the word itself, but the correct spelling can often be determined by identifying the roots that combine to make up the word.
FUN FACT! – Did you know that the word ‘etymology’ itself was derived from the Greek word ‘Etymos’ which means ‘True’? ‘Etymologia’ for a long time was the study of the correct or the precise meanings of the words.
Consider the word ‘robot’ which you use in your everyday life right? It derives from the Czech word “Robota” which means forced labor! Sounds a lot like slavery doesn’t it? So, the key to using etymology effectively is to EXPLORE as many words as you can!
REMEMBER THE FEATURES OF DIFFERENT LANGUAGES
Here’s an interesting rule: It’s often noted that the first sound in Greek words is spelled not with “f” but with “ph” that’s what makes etymology so interesting!!
GO THROUGH AS MANY WORD LISTS AS POSSIBLE
This helps you remember the patterns in which the words of various languages are formed. It will help you when you need to spell a word that you are not so familiar with.
ONE COMMON MISTAKE!
The common mistake that one often makes while studying etymology is to spell the word phonetically. Phonetics refers to the vocal sounds of the word. American English is largely based on it.
Consider colour versus color. They sound so much the same, don’t they? But as you already know in British English color is spelled as COLOUR but in American English the same word with the same phonetics is spelled as COLOR.
While studying etymology it is of utmost importance that you – DON’T GET MISLEAD BY THE PHONETICS OF THE WORDS.
Consider French words for example, they have a lot of silent letters which will surely lie to you. In such a situation, you can take the advantage by checking out a particular sound. Say the “schwa” sound and considering all the spellings related to it. That will help you a lot in saving yourself from the dangers of spelling using phonetics. Click here to learn more about phonetics.
DON’T BE LIMITED TO LATIN OR GREEK WORDS
The fact that these are the two biggest languages from which most of the words in the English language are derived, doesn’t necessarily imply that most of the words that you get in spelling competitions will be from these two languages. We always need to be prepared.
Studies have often shown that spellers generally find HEBREW words comparatively more difficult to spell!
UNDERSTAND THE WORKING OF LANGUAGES
One of the best ways to master spellings is to go through as many word lists, learn as many words as possible. If you do that the words will come naturally to you when you need to spell them.
I would suggest that you study etymology from – Online word lists.
There are thousands of them available just go through them and try to understand how words from specific languages are spelled. That would develop your intuition and you can spell them very easily after that.
OBSERVE AND ANALYSE WORDS USED AROUND YOU
Lastly, remember that complete mastery over words cannot be accomplished just by going through online word lists or study material. It will do you great good if you check out the words that are used in your day-to-day life and surroundings!
Observe them, analyze them and impress them upon your mind so that you can go towards spelling harder and harder spellings and become the ultimate spell wizard!! Who knows? You might be the next Scripps Spelling Bee winner!
Want to learn more about words and improve your vocabulary? Click here for more hacks to be a word master!
About LITKIDS –
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ABOUT LITKIDS INFLUENCER BHADRA PANICKER:
Bhadra Panicker, a published author and a student of DPS Indirapuram, was first introduced to the world of spellings when her school hosted a spell bee competition. To her surprise, she won the gold medal!
That’s when she realized that she could do good at spellings if she wanted to and when Classmate Spell Bee came into her life, her whole love for spellings changed. It went on to a whole new serious level. A voracious reader, and an active participant in Model United Nation forums in New Delhi, she has always excelled in her academic pursuits. Bhadra really enjoys spellings and words. Bhadra wrote her first book ‘The Solitary Blossom’ – a wonderful anthology of poems, at the age of 14. Click here to buy the book on Amazon
Want to know how you too can get your own book published? Click here!
To everybody who has appeared or aspires to appear for spell bee, here is a fun question.
Name a word which has complexly evolved from the word that it was derived from.Mail-in your entries to email@example.com. Tune in to LITKIDS YouTube channel for fun contests that can provide you with a platform to hone your skills.
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