Word walking

I love words. Not just because they make communication easier but because there are so many, and so many derivations, so many different uses. When you think of the vast number of words there are it is a shame we do not use more of them, like those of us who I am told, only use 12% of our brains. What do you suppose the remaining 88% is doing?

Take the word gress. I had no idea it was a word but it means to walk, to move forward. Makes sense when you think of how many words are made from this one. Like aggression, digression, progression, regression, retrogression, and one I just learned, introgression. Which has nothing at all to do with walking or moving forward, that I can tell. It refers to the introduction of new DNA or genetic alteration to a cell. Not cloning exactly, maybe creating a hybrid plant or something. I never read the book Chimera but maybe that, also.

Or take the word press. Everyone knows this means to move or push on, more emphatic I think than to walk forward, this word indicates more of a sense of urgency. So again there’s impress, depress, repress, oppress, suppress, express. Probably more but that is all I can think of with my 12%. So this root basically means the same for each of these words but that little prefix makes all the difference. Subtly in some cases, a variance between depress and suppress, or even repress and oppress. But then impress and express save the day, moving back into the light.

I guess all of us move up or down, forward or backward or sideways and we all use words to describe what we are doing. If we can keep the light a little brighter in each of our little corners what a great light we can have shining.

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