Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Netiquette IQ Blog Of 8/1/2017 - The Function of the Prefix




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From www.thoughtco.com
Updated May 05, 2017
In English grammar and morphology, a prefix is a letter or group of letters attached to the beginning of a word that partly indicates its meaning, including such as examples as "anti-" to mean against, "co-" to mean with, "mis-" to mean wrong or bad, and "trans-" to mean across.
The most common prefixes in English are those that express negation like "a-" in the word asexual, "in-" in the word incapable, and "un-" in the word unhappy — these negations immediately alter the meaning of the words the are added to, but some prefixes merely change the form.
Interestingly enough, the word prefix itself contains the prefix "pre-" which means before and the root word fix which means to fasten or place, thus the word itself means "to place before." letter groups attached to the ends of words, conversely, are called suffixes while both belong to the larger group of morphemes known as affixes
Prefixes are bound morphemes, which means they can't stand alone. Generally, if a group of letters is a prefix, it can't also be a word. However, prefixation, or the process of adding a prefix to a word, is a common way of forming new words in English.
General Rules and Exceptions to Them
Although there are several common prefixes in English, not all usage rules apply universally, at least in terms of definition. For instance, the prefix "sub-" can either mean "something below" the root word or that the root word is "below something."
James J. Hurford argues in "Grammer: A Student's Guide" that "there are many words in English which look as if they begin with a familiar prefix, but in which it is not clear what meaning to attach either to the prefix or to the remainder of the word, in order to arrive at the meaning of the whole word." Essentially, this means that sweeping rules about prefixes like "ex-" in exercise and excommunicate cannot be applied.
However, there are still some general rules that do apply to all prefixes, namely that they are typically set as part of the new word, with hyphens only appearing in the case of the base word starting with a capital letter or the same vowel that the prefix ends with. In "The Cambridge Guide to English Usage" by Pam Peters, though, the author does posit that "in well-established cases of this type, the hyphen becomes optional, as with cooperate."
Nano-, Dis-, Mis- and Other Oddities
Technology especially utilizes prefixes as our technological and computer worlds get smaller and smaller. Alex Boese notes in the 2008 Smithsonian article "Electrocybertronics," that "lately the prefix trend has been shrinking; during the 1980s, 'mini-' gave way to 'micro-,' which yielded to 'nano'" and that these units of measurement have since transcended their original meaning.
In a similar way, the prefixes "dis-" and "mis-" have come to slightly transcend their original intent. Still, James Kilpatrick claims in his 2007 article "To 'dis,' or Not to 'dis,'" that there are 152 "dis-" words and 161 "mis-" words in contemporary lexicography. However, many of these are never spoken like the word "misact," which starts the "mis- list," as he calls it.
The prefix "pre-" also has a bit of confusion in modern vernacular. George Carlin famously jokes about the everyday occurrence at the airport called "pre-boarding." According to the standard definition of the prefix, "preboarding" should meaning before boarding, but as Carlin puts it "What does it mean to pre-board? Do you get on [a plane] before you get on?"
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In addition to this blog, Netiquette IQ has a website with great assets which are being added to on a regular basis. I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, “Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". My new book, “You’re Hired! Super Charge Your Email Skills in 60 Minutes. . . And Get That Job!” has just been published and will be followed by a trilogy of books on Netiquette for young people. You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

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Over the past twenty-five years, I have enjoyed a dynamic and successful career and have attained an extensive background in IT and electronic communications by selling and marketing within the information technology market.