Aries 25: A double promise

T h e a d j e c t i v e d ou b l e d e s c e n d s f r o m t h e I n d o E u r o p e a n ( I E ) r o ot d w o - w h i c h m e a n s “ t w o . ” I t s paronyms include the words balance, between, b i n a r y , c o m b in e , d e u c e , d i p l o ma , do u bl e , d o u b t , d u b i o u s , du a d, d o z e n , d u a l , d y a d, t w e l v e , t w e n t y , t w i c e , t w i g , t w in , t w i l i g ht , a n d t w o . 1 T h e w o r d p r o m i s e i s c o m p ri s e d o f t he p r e f i x p r o - a n d t h e b a se m i s e . T h e f o r m e r de s c e n d s f r o m t h e IE r o o t p e r - 1 w h i c h i s t he b a s e of m a n y p r e v e rb s, p r e f i x e s, a n d p r e p o si t i on s w i t h t h e g e n e r a l m e a n i n g o f f o r w a r d , f i r s t , a n d t h r o u g h . 2 T h e A m e r i c a n H e r it a ge D i c t io n a r y o f t h e E n g l i s h La n gu a g e li st s o v e r 1 2 0 d e r i v a t i v e s o f p e r - 1 i n c l u d i n g a f f o r d , a p p r o a c h , a p p r o v e , fi r s t , f o r t h , fr o m , p r i d e , p r ie s t , p r o v e , p r i m e , p r in c e , p r o be , p r o t o n , p r o o f , a n d p r o p e r t y . T h e b a se m i s e , w h i c h m e a n s “ t o s e n d d e sc e n d s f r o m t h e I E ro o t m i t t e r e w h i c h m e a n s “ t o l e t g o , s e n d o f f , t h r o w. ” 3 P a r o n y m s i n c l u de m a s s , me s s , m i s s i l e , m e s sa g e , m i s s i v e , C hr i s t m a s , c o m m it , co m p r o m i se , d i s m i s s , e m it , in t e r m it , o m it , p e r m i t , m i s si o n , r e m i t , s u bm i t , su r m i se , a n d t r a n s m it . T H E M E S : T h e f i r st t h e m e c on c e r n s C O N S E N T . R e ca l l t h a t t he w o r d a p p r o v e i s o n e o f t h e p a r o n y m s o f t he p r e f i x p r o - . A mo n g t h e s y n on y m s o f a p p r o v e i s ‘ c on se n t ’, a w o r d t h a t i s a l s o a s y n o n y m o f p r o m i s e . 4 S e c o n d l y, r e c a l l t ha t i n he r e n t i n t h e w o r d p r o m i s e i s t h e n ot i o n o f A S S U R A N C E o r e xp e c t a t i on . A s a v e rb i t s de f i n i t i on s i n c l u d e “ t o c o m mi t o n e s e l f t o b y p r om i s e t o d o o r g i v e ; t o a f f o r d a b a s i s f o r e x p e c t i n g ; t o m a k e a d e c l a r a t i on t h a t s o m e t h i n g w i l l o r w i l l n o t b e d o n e . ” 5 A m o n g i t s s y n o n y m s w e f i n d t h e w o r d s a s s ur e , i n s u r e , g u a ra n t e e a n d l e a d t o

1 Watkins, C. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo European Roots, p. 21 2 Watkins, C. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo European Roots, pp. 65 -6 3 Watkins, C. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo European Roo ts, p. 56 4 http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/promise 5 http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/promise Starling Hunter © 2011 1

e x p e ct . 6 C o m p a r e t h e s e w o r d s w i t h t h e d e f i n i t i o n s o f d u b i o u s a n d d o u bt , b o t h o f w h i c h a r e p a r o n y m s o f d ou b l e : f r a u g h t w i t h u n c e r t a i n t y ; o f q u e s t i o n a b l e c h a ra c t e r. 7 T h e w o r d s c e r t a i n , s u re , a n d d e f i n i t e a re a n t o n y m s o f d u b io u s . 8

6 http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/promise 7 http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/dubious 8 http://thesaurus.com/browse/dubious Starling Hunter © 2011 2

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