Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Notes on the poem "Choices"

Notes on the words 
    a) "surd"
    b) "root"
in the poem "Choices"

a) surd   /sərd/

adjective: surd

1. MATHEMATICS: (of a number) irrational.
2. PHONETICS: (of a speech sound) uttered with the breath and not the voice (e.g., f, k, p, s, t ).

noun: surd;  plural noun: surds

1. MATHEMATICS:  a surd number, especially the irrational root of an integer.
2. PHONETICS:  a surd consonant.

mid 16th century: from Latin surdus ‘deaf, mute’; as a mathematical term, translating Greek (Euclid) alogos ‘irrational, speechless,’ apparently via Arabic jiḏr aṣamm, literally ‘deaf root.’ The phonetics senses date from the mid 18th century.

Source:  http://google.com (searched for “surd definition”)
Both surd and its more common cousin absurd come from the Latin word surdus, meaning "unhearing, deaf, muffled, or dull." Absurd traveled through Middle French before arriving in English in the early 16th century. Its arrival preceded by a few decades the adoption of the noun version of our featured word directly from Latin, which referred to an irrational root, such as √3. By the early 17th century surd had gained a more general application. The adjective describes speech sounds that are not voiced-for example, the \p\ sound, as opposed to the voiced \b.

Source:  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surd

b1) root of a number

The root of a number x is another number, which when multiplied by itself a given number of times, equals x. For example the second root of 9 is 3, because 3x3 = 9.

The second root is usually called the square root.
The third root is susually called the cube root

Source: http://www.mathopenref.com/root.html
b2) root of a word

The root in language is either a base word, or a part of a word to which affixes are added. Or, it is the part left after affixes have been taken away. Technically, it is the smallest unit which carries meaning: it cannot be reduced into smaller units. It is the same as a free-standing morpheme.

If a root is a whole word, then it is called a base word. It is the word which stands at the head of a dictionary definition, as the base of a word family.

Examples (in each case, with the root bold underlined):

science. This one is interesting because it is so ancient. It is a descendant of the Indo-European root scei, meaning to cut or split. It comes to us via the Latin language.

Source: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_(linguistics)

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