Why does Etymology Matter

Why does Etymology Matter?

We learn our language when we are still pretty young.

We learn how to speak and then how to read and write. We grow and we keep learning more and more new words. First we learn only the words we need to survive. Then we learn what we need to improve our communication with others and being more accurate in what we want to express.  These are only “New” for us, however, because most of those words existed centuries ago.

There are millions of words in every language. Most of the people don’t get the chance to know every existing word, and often they disregard the more antique and beautiful words just because they can only be found in classic literature and fewer and fewer people tend to read (What a shame!)

Anyway, the main characteristic that makes us –the humans− the more rational species from the planet is our language, and that language is composed of words. So, words make us rational, make us superior, and that is too important as to not care about them.

The Etymology duty

So, what’s the duty of etymology? Etymology is the study of the origin of the words, including interesting data such as when the words were included into the language, which is the source they came from (who invented them), and how the spelling and meaning change over the years. Etymology uses all this information to establish which are the official correct pronunciation and writing for every word.


The history of the words, why is it important?


Not knowing what has happened before us is like being incessantly children.

Cicerón (106 BC-43 BC)


History, in all fields, is important to learn about the past.  We need this knowledge to evolve and to not repeat the same mistakes we already did in previous lives, so to speak. Words have their own history too. They change with us, they transform themselves to be more useful, they acquire or lose some letters to be more precise to what we need to communicate, and it is important to be aware of this changes to always get the most benefit from our main rational collective tool.

Here are some important reasons why etymology matters:

  • It gives us the amazing ability to comprehend technical and cultivated words that we may have never heard about or we have totally forgotten about.
  • It allows us to understand the original meaning of plenty of words and the reason behind the structure of words.
  • It connects us to a variety of words from other languages, some of them disregarded for being archaic or in disuse, but valuable for accuracy in the correct use of words.
  • It allows us to guess the meaning of words in other similar languages without needing a dictionary.
  • Expands our cultural level, making us wiser and more capable to talk with property about any possible topic.
  • Offers us a wider vocabulary, to perform better the speech skill, the writing and all branches of study and work.
  • Improves our spelling and grammar, especially with more complicated or ancient words.
  • Allows you to wisely understand historical facts, considering that the language people used a hundred years ago was not exactly the same that you are using now.


That’s not all!

There are even more awesome benefits you cannot even imagine until you find yourself there.  Through word history, you can get lost in a warm and unpredictable sea that breeds sirens and tritons.  You can connect with their correspondent fantastic stories invented by men and women of old. We may never know if the history we find of most of the words is fully real. But, no matter what, etymology is a part of what we are, and it seals part of what we all are about to be.


Words are us. Don’t you want to discover more about yourself? I do! And we can do it through Etymology.

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