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Word Etymologies: The Greek and Latin Roots of English

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Course DatesWeeksMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRN
June 30, 2014 - July 11, 20142M-F 12:45-3:35PWaitlistedRobin McGill10003

Course Description

What do the SAT and the application essay have in common? Both offer opportunities for the word-smith to shine: both rely on choosing the right words and understanding them in context. Expanding your vocabulary can also improve success in college, especially if you are intending to major in a STEM field, medicine, or law, which have highly specialized vocabularies based on Greek and Latin word roots. Finally, the word-smith will gain tools for developing a deeper appreciation of literature, as well as a facility with linguistic and grammatical concepts that will serve her well in the study of foreign languages.

This course is designed for aspiring word-smiths to increase their grasp of English vocabulary by focusing on the Latin and Greek roots of the English language. Building on the foundation of words you already know, you will learn techniques for identifying the core meaning of complex words and recognizing differences in meaning between similar words. Critical reading exercises will help you become comfortable reading books and periodicals with more challenging vocabulary, and composition exercises will help you develop the confidence to incorporate more sophisticated words into your writing.

By the end of the course, the fully trained word-smith will be able to comprehend new words at sight (especially helpful on the critical reading section of the SAT and other standardized tests), select the right expression for any situation (#essaytime), and offer delightfully unsolicited information on the origin of words.

No prerequisites, but those with years of study in Latin or Greek may find the material familiar.