top of page

It was an -ITY Bitty Derivative…

I like the word INEVITABLE. Not because I particularly like its meaning, but because I like the story of its journey into English. INEVITABLY (ha-ha) it comes from Latin.


The word can be broken down as follows:


IN = prefix meaning ‘NOT’, as in IMprobable(the 'n’ has softened next to the 'p’; 'IMpossible’ (IN-possible); IN-valid; IN-dependent.


EVITA = (no, not the Lloyd-Webber musical). EVITA- is the STEM of the emphatic version of the Latin verb 'VITO’ = to avoid’ (STEM: VITA-).


-ABLE = suffix. Comes from the Latin suffix -ABILIS meaning 'able to be’. So MUT-ABILIS (mutable) = changeable; PROB-ABILIS (probable) = able to be tried/tested (English meaning has evolved slightly).


The building blocks of language are beautiful. We can take different middle blocks (coming from different verb STEMs) and use the same prefix and suffix, and het presto we have a new word. A little like Maths, maybe.


A= prefix

B = stem

C = suffix


So:

A + B + C = x


Where X = unknown new word. There is a certainly a sweet logic to language and letters.

Back to INEVITABLE (sounds like an edgy film, right? Never mind!). It means:


UN-AVOID-ABLE


#I❤Latin. Learning Latin gives you a great understanding not just of English, but the very formation of language and its evolution, forming a logical, but complex tree of that facet that makes us human: SPEECH/COMMUNICATION.


However, VITO and EVITO did not just come to English:


FRENCH = éviter

SPANISH = evitar

ITALIAN = evitare

PORTUGUESE = evitar

ROMANIAN = evita


An UNAVOIDABLY busy word! Groan! All done!

Recent Posts

See All

Comentários


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page