I wish I had paid more attention during the (many) Latin lessons I attended while at school (sorry Miss Valentine, I did try). Then I would perhaps have a better understanding of prefixes. Dis for example. According to various dictionaries ‘Dis’ is a Latin prefix meaning ‘apart’ ‘asunder’ ‘away’ ‘utterly’ or having a privative, negative, or reversing force
If logic could be applied to the English language any word that was ‘dis’ could stand on its own with the ‘dis’ removed as in Disability, Disadvantage, Disagree, Disappear, Disarm, Disconnect etc.
But have you ever been gruntled, or turbed, or mayed or hevelled or tant ?
I’m sure there are good explanations.
Then there are words where the ‘non-dis’ word is a word but does not necessarily mean the opposite
Discard , Disfigure, Disclose, Disconcert……
I love the English language – so full of idiosyncrasies – and I have the greatest admiration for people who have learned (learnt?) it as a foreign language. I suspect I never could have done.Tweet