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English Detective #24, Disease Fighters: Oct. 22,2013
October 21, 2013
Your First Clue: Vocabulary we’ll Emphasize in this Issue
Academic Word List review: environment, phenomenon, release, supplement, transform, transmission, transport
New words: eradicate, offspring,susceptible
Most of the review words should be clear from the context. Here are explanations of the new words plus:
To eradicate is to completely get rid of something-- to destroy it so it can never return. It comes from the word for 'root out'-- to pull up by the roots, as we pull up weeds we don't want in our gardens.
Offspring means descendants: the children, grandchildren, and later lives that come from parents.
Susceptible means vulnerable-- in danger of being harmed by something, or of 'catching' a disease. "People with weak immune systems are more susceptible to AIDs, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases."
Transmission and transport are discussed below, with other words made with 'trans.'
Getting the whole story: this issue’s reading/listening practice:
the TED talk on mosquitoes is here.
Here's the Voice of America discussion on Medical Research Heroes is here.
This is the talk on the 1918 flu and its implications if you want more information.
The prefix 'trans-' means across or through. The list belwo gives some of the most common English words beginning with trans-, along with an idea of their meaning based on their roots. (Most of these roots are discussed in EnglishHints.com, either in 50 Word Roots from Latin, Important Latin Roots, or The Latin Root Ponere.)
Transfer- to 'bring or carry across'-- move from one person's ownership or responsibility to another's, or to be sent from one office to another.
Transform- to change completely from one form to another. Transformation is the noun to express that complete change.
Transgress- (from the past participle of gredi-- to step, so 'to go beyond' what is right or acceptable. To transgress means basically to sin or violate a standard. The noun is transgression.
Transition- (from the past participle of trans- combined with 'ire'-- to go, so 'to go across.) A transition is a gradual change from one condition to another. Transit- transportation. 'Public transit' means transportation, often bus service, provided by a city government. Transient- temporary (as an adjective), or 'a transient'-- a person staying somewhere but not living there permanently. Often transients are homeless, poor, and distrusted by the police and permanent residents of a place.
Translate- to transfer a thought or meaning from one language to another. (Literally, 'to move from one side to another.')
Transmit- to send across (often to send signals across space or over an electric wire). Radio, television, and the Internet all depend on clear transmission of signals.
Transpire- (from 'breathe across or through.') Transpiration is a biological process in which plant leaves give off water vapor and waste products (including oxygen), just as respiration is a process in which animals breathe air to exhange carbon dioxide for oxygen. To transpire can also sometimes mean 'to happen.'
Transplant- to dig up a plant and replant it in a new location. We often use this metaphorically of people who get 'uprooted' and need to settle somewhere else.
Transport- to move or carry something (or someone) from one place to another. (From 'portare'- to carry. Portare is also the root of 'portable'-- something that can be moved, import (to carry into a country), and export (to carry away from a country.) Trains, ships, cars, buses, trucks, and airplanes all provide transportation.
Transpose- usually to set or put music into a different key (or to reverse the order of letters in a word: to write 'teh' when you intended 'the.')
Prefix Practice with 'Trans-'
Choose from these words to fill in the blanks: transfer, transform, transition, transport. ) For answers, see below "Coming in the next issue.")
"We're moving to Chicago. We'll drive with everything that we can take in our car, and a moving company will 1. _________ most of our furniture and household goods."
"I want to 2. _______ this account to your branch office in Chicago."
"Our office is going through a 3. ________ process. We're making the changes a little at a time, but the end result will completely 4. ________ the way we handle data.
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Coming in the next issue: Choices Make Heroes.
Answers to Prefix Practice:
1. transport, 2. transfer, 3. transition, 4. transform.
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