Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

AVERT

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

AVERT

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:45 pm

• avert •

Pronunciation: ê-vêrtHear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive (takes a direct object)

Meaning: 1. To turn away from, to point in a different direction, to divert, as to avert attention away from the fire. 2. To prevent or ward off, as to avert an accident by taking precautions.

Notes: Today's word contains a root found in many English words referring to various types of turning: introvert, someone turned inward, extravert, someone turned outward, and pervert, someone who is just twisted. The noun, aversion means "turning away" but also can refer to something that turns you away, repulses you, as an aversion to violence. To avert is to simply turn away but to divert is to turn away toward something else, as traffic might be diverted down a side road.

In Play: Avert is used almost idiomatically with eyes these days but other things may be averted: "Events in his life averted Adam Bahm from his studies at the peace institute for two years." We also find many things in our lives, negative and positive, that we may avert in the second sense of today's Good Word: "Constance Noring managed to avert success by consistently wasting time on the job."

Word History: This word came to us from our usual supplier: Latin, this time the verb avertere "to turn away from". This word contains the remnant of ab "away from" + vertere "to turn". The original root, *wer-t- "to turn, bend", also moved from Proto-Indo-European through Old Germanic to Old English, arriving at our doorstep as ward, as in the definition of today's word, "to ward off". Yes, that is it in words like toward and northward, too. It survives in Modern German as werden "to become (turn into)" and in Russian as vorot found in povorot "a turn, turning point".
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3351
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Postby Stargzer » Fri Feb 03, 2006 2:06 am

Here's a short article on the use of averted vision in astronomical observation. This works not only at a telescope eyepiece but also when trying to find a faint star when looking at the sky with the unaided eye.
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
User avatar
Stargzer
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2545
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD

Postby Brazilian dude » Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:22 pm

The original root, *wer-t- "to turn, bend", also moved from Proto-Indo-European through Old Germanic to Old English, arriving at our doorstep as ward, as in the definition of today's word, "to ward off". Yes, that is it in words like toward and northward, too.

Does Tim Ward come from the same root?

Brazilian dude
Languages rule!
Brazilian dude
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1464
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Botucatu - SP Brazil

Postby tcward » Fri Feb 03, 2006 7:17 pm

Ward as a family name is also related. And I may be related to the famous Renaissance composer, Giaches de Wert!

-Tim ;)
User avatar
tcward
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: The Old North State


Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests

cron