Now, it might just be because I’m a nerdy English teacher, but I LOVE word etymology. I find it quite fascinating to explore the history of word origins. Imagine my delight to find a comic that shares some of this fascination! Check out a chapter in the life of Etymology Man from xkcd.com!
Latin inspiration May 8, 2012
I don’t know why I am so surprised when I discover yet another way in which knowing other languages adds so many layers to the words we use every day. Beyond that, root words I’ve known forever, suddenly spring into profound meaning with a flash. Like today.
Consider the Latin root spir. It means ‘to breathe.’ You know, ‘respiration’ and all that.
Combine it with the prefix in- meaning ‘in’ or ‘on.’
This means inspire translates as ‘in breath’ or ‘on breath’
Breath is an essential aspect of life. Without breathing, there is no life.
Our creativity is essential to our life. We are inspired as we are in our breath.
When we are inspired, the doing becomes as natural as breathing.