Fun with affixes, Part 1: AD-

Prefixes are one of the most important parts of the language. If you know your prefixes, you’ll know far more words than you thought, and you’ll be able to make up words on your own much more easily.

Today’s prefix is ad-: to, toward, toward the end of.

Ad- is a prefix of motion, be it gentle or violent or anything in between.

Some notable words:

Aggressive: An aggressive person is constantly moving toward something. This is an example of assimilation. Try saying “Ad-gressive.” How much easier is it to say “Ag-gressive?” Languages (even our own) really start to make sense when you combine the established roots with the physical and cultural laws of linguistics.

Adverse: An adversary is someone who has turned on you.

Advocate: Someone who speaks toward (or speaks for) someone.

Amplify: From ply, to fold. This is quite similar to apply, to add a layer. Folding used have a slightly different meaning, as seen in words like hundred-fold, but the most vivid use of the root is certainly to multiply. In its simplest meaning, to amplify is to add layers.

A Completely Made-up Word
Amplecate: This would be a synonym of to hug. Literally, to touch chests, from plexus, chest (as seen in “solar plexus,” which, being at the line of symmetry for your chest, is the part of your chest that is single). Do note that, although the pronunciation would be unchanged, spelling the word, “to amplicate” would be both etymologically incorrect and confusing.

Let’s explore the the nuances of this new word, shall we? While to amplecate is a synonym of to hug, there are non-amplecatory hugs and non-hugging amplecations. Culturally, the distinction is usually made by the male of the species; consider the handshake-hug, which doesn’t involve the actual touching of chests, making it non-amplecatory, and the chest bump, which is amplecatory, but doesn’t involve hugging!


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