Angela’s ABCs: Latin is Alive and Well and Living in English by Angela Caldin

The Latin verb cedere means to go away, to withdraw, to yield, to grant, to surrender possession. From this derives the English verb to cede: Russia ceded Alaska to the U.S. in 1867. After a lively debate, she finally ceded the point to her opponent. By the addition of prefixes also derived from Latin, the verb to cede has acquired various offspring: To recede meaning to go backwards: His hairline receded over the years. It was many days before the floodwaters began to recede. To accede meaning to give one’s consent or… Read More

Angela’s ABCs: Words Easily Confused – Discreet and Discrete

Discreet This is an adjective meaning prudent, circumspect, modest, self-restrained and tactful. Although she was extremely wealthy, she dressed in a discreet way and shopped in downmarket places. I desperately wanted to confide in someone about my problems, but it was difficult to know who would keep things to themselves and be totally discreet. Discrete This is an adjective meaning distinct or separate and is used to identify a particular whole as having distinct, separate, or non-continuous parts. The facility had several discrete resources: a pharmacy, a detox centre, a crisis care provision and a health… Read More