Friday, January 15, 2010

Remembering word parts ab-, abs-, apo-, and the Second Amendment

ab-, abs- and apo- like many common word parts, have been bandied about for centuries and consequently they have more than one meaning. To keep from using rote memorization, any more than we have to, I like to use acronyms. Especially if I can back up their meanings like we do in the memory stories below. Yes, acronyms require a bit of rote but it isn't mindless but mindful repetition with a back up, which will help us recall information for a lifetime.

[blue emboldened words are common or college terms, reddish brown words are medical terms that should be looked up in a medical dictionary]

ab-, abs- from L. ab-, off means "separation, off, from, away". [abductor, lit. one who or that which leads away, fig. a kidnapper; a muscle, absolve, lit. to loose from, fig. to set free or release from debt, responsibility, or guilt, ablate, lit. carry or take away, abscess, lit. a going away, abstract, lit. to draw away]

Memory story: You're Abe (ab-, abs-) Lincoln lying on a SOFA (separation, off, from, away) in the White House and have a dream about looking off into an abyss (abs-). Upon waking you have a strange feeling of separation or going away when your wife asks you to get up and get ready to go to the theater.

apo- from Gr. apo, away from, off, means "separation, off, from, away". [apostate, lit. stand away, fig. one who has left their religion, apobiosis, lit. away from life condition, apocrine, lit. separate from, Apocynum, lit. from dog, apophysis, lit. growing off process]

Memory story: You've gone off to write a poem (apo-). Lying on your SOFA (separation, off, from, away) you've managed to get away from everybody so you can think.

Now let's do the Bill of Rights' second amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. We're going to substitute the word "zoo" for "two" in this memory story.

Memory story: You're looking over the "zoo" that Noah has on his ark and notice that the two bears are walking around the deck bearing arms.

[Note to advanced memory students.: If you know Mnemonic's link/phonetic system (which I'll cover in upcoming blogs) I'm sure you've noticed that I've placed "Noah" in today's Bill of Rights memory story and "tea" in yesterdays. The reason why is I don't want people to have to go back and start over if they decide to use the Link system later on. Which I hope they will.]

On Monday, Jan. 18th, we're going to do -ac-. -ac- is a very popular word root that has been used to create numerous word parts. Consequently, it too has at least eight meanings but we're going to breeze through it and the Bill of Right's third amendment.

No comments:

Post a Comment