HI
I teach an American English basic education class. One student, last evening, was pondering over our prefix usage. Ie., why do we use one prefix with a certain word. Eg., why is "discovery" but not "uncovery" Yet, we have "dissassemble" and "unassemble." My guess is that certain prefixes were chosen by the speakers of the langusage and those usages became standardized with their inclusions into the dictionary. However, that is not very satisfactory.
If you can shed some light, or direct me to some sites that may shed some light (yes, I have been looking), please do so.

Much thanks, Di
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I teach an American English basic education class. One student, last evening, was pondering over our prefix usage. Ie., why ... of the langusage and those usages became standardized with their inclusions into the dictionary. However, that is not very satisfactory.

What else did you expect?
You know something about how English came
into existence, not long before printing but centuries before grammar or spelling were standardized (via
printed books), and you know English has mixed
roots (Anglo-Saxon, Norman French, and other
sources). Additionally you know English is varied and flexible (e.g. does not prohibit differences
between usage in different continents or cultures) and has no English Academy or "language police"
to regulate usage. You may also know every
rational reform movement (e.g. seeking to make
spelling or grammar uniform) simply failed to
win adequate support, let alone achieve its goals.

You may have to reconcile yourself to the
diversity and irregularity of the language.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
and has no English Academy or "language police" to regulate usage.

Oh Yes, the great democracy of the English speaking world. In english speaking countries, people do what they are told to do by the media, and they think they are free.
Let's see, I'm am forced to read poetry by Langston Hughes, a black homosexual, who was a communist and a child molester, and you don't have "language police" to rape the mind of young student. I guess you think you don't, because you consider hollywood to be the regulator of English.

You can argue all the day until cows come home, but we European are convalescent.
Respectfully
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Knoppix User had it:
and has no English Academy or "language police" to regulate usage.

Oh Yes, the great democracy of the English speaking world. In english speaking countries, people do what they are told ... mind of young student. I guess you think you don't, because you consider hollywood to be the regulator of English.

Forced? Is he standing over you with a big black homosexual communist whip?
And please don't equate "English speaking" with "American".
You can argue all the day until cows come home, but we European are convalescent.

I am a native English-speaking European, but I'm much better now.

David
==
replace usenet with the
and has no English Academy or "language police" to regulate usage.

Oh Yes, the great democracy of the English speaking world. In english speaking countries, people do what they are told ... I'm am forced to read poetry by Langston Hughes, a black homosexual, who was a communist and a child molester,

Whoa Nellie. I am not the most educated Italian in African American literature, but have you considered counseling for your hostility to American minority writers? Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Ellison, these were the giants who helped pave the way for the civil rights legislation of the sixties. The irony for me being that I know more about these authors than the black woman whom I hire off public assistance to be my nursing aides.
And who in the world is forcing you to read Hughes' poetry? The color of his skin aside, his facility with verse is apparent to those of us in the profession.
Joanne
diagravial schrieb:
I teach an American English basic education class. One student, last evening, was pondering over our prefix usage. Ie., why do we use one prefix with a certain word. Eg., why is "discovery" but not "uncovery"

Because the brought "decouvrir" and not "uncovrir" into the language? Emotion: wink
Yet, we have "dissassemble" and "unassemble."

We do?
The reason is that "d" stands for "dump", so a word with "u" is needed to have a memorable keystroke for reverse code assembly. "Normal" people don't have "unassemble".
My guess is that certain prefixes were chosen by the speakers of the langusage and those usages became standardized with their inclusions into the dictionary.

By speakers of the languages the English got their words from. The prefix "un" means "one" in French, so you can count on the part of the language descended from that to not have it.
However, that is not very satisfactory.

Well, it keeps your mind exercised. Emotion: wink
Cheers
Michael

It's silly talking about how many years we will have to spend in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put parking stripes on it and still be home by Christmas. Ronald Reagan, October 10, 1965
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
HI I teach an American English basic education class. One student, last evening, was pondering over our prefix usage. Ie., why do we use one prefix with a certain word. Eg., why is "discovery" but not "uncovery"

Sadly for the theory the word "uncovery" is in use. Cites in OED:

" 1963 Listener 12 Sept. 377/2 When we indulge in+deduction+the theorem contains the discovery (or, more exactly, the uncovery of something which was there in the axioms and postulates, though it wasn't actually evident). 1977 Times Lit. Suppl. 25 Mar. 336/1 Dr Ray's uncovery of a dusty trove of illustrated books in the basement of a London dealer recalls the accidental discovery of the golden bowl. "

Prefixes are added when they perform a function. If you want to examine the uses of prefixes I'd recommend a comprehensive dictionary. Though you would be right to be apprehensive about the price. This advice is not intended in a reprehensive manner.

John Dean
Oxford
You can argue all the

You don't need "the" here
day until

Here is where you need "the"
cows come home, but we European

You need an "s" here
are convalescent.

I didn't even know you were sick.

Liebs
HI I teach an American English basic education class. One ... with a certain word. Eg., why is "discovery" but not"uncovery"

Sadly for the theory the word "uncovery" is in use. Cites in OED: " 1963 Listener 12 Sept. 377/2 When ... right to be apprehensive about the price. This advice is not intended in a reprehensive manner. John Dean Oxford

An even more interesting case, in my opinion, is that of "inhabitable," meaning "suitable for habitation" and "inhabitable," meaning "not habitable." This second word, which uses a different "in-" prefix, has been used in English, but is now obsolete. It is, however, currently used in French, making "uninhabitable" the translation of the French "inhabitable."

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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