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Greek & Latin Roots in English

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Eryka Sellers

on 10 November 2016

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Transcript of Greek & Latin Roots in English

(Dictionary.com, 2014)
- 80% of English words come from another language

- Over 60% of all English words have Greek or Latin histories

- In Science, technology, and business, 90% of words come from Greek or Latin
Why Greek & Latin?
Greek+Latin = English?
Germanic Languages (from Proto-German):
- German
- Dutch
- Frisian
- Icelandic
- Norwegian
- Danish
- English

Romance Languages (from Latin):
- French
- Spanish
- Italian
- Portuguese
- Catalan
- Romanian
The Lingua Franca?
The Lingua Franca is the language of communication between people who do not share a common mother-tongue.

At one point, French, Latin, and Greek were all Lingua Francas.
How did it happen?
- English is a young language

- The influence of classical languages shaped Western society
- Ancient Greece
- Rome
- France

Why are they important?
Greek & Latin Roots in English
English did not come from either language
What is the plural of
_ Octopuses
_ Octopi
_ Octopodes
Octopuses or Octopodes!
Most Americans would answer "octopi" because -i is a latin ending for many plurals.

However, octopus is a Greek word. The correct plural ending is "pus--> podes".

But because it has been in English for so long, "octopuses" is also acceptable.
Proper English?
Which sentences below are "proper"?
1. Mary and I went to the store.
2. Mary and me went to the store.

3. You can give the book to whomever you please.
4. You can give the book to whoever you please.

5. She drove with Jake, Andrew, and I.
6. She drove with Jake, Andrew, and me.
It depends on who you talk to!
Mary and I = Latin grammar
Mary and me = German grammar and English grammar

Whom/Whomever = not real words before Latin showed up

English, like all languages, is constantly evolving. English is in the global spotlight right now, and these sorts of problems are being confronted in classrooms everyday.

For example: is there something wrong with the title of this slide?

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