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RIFE

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RIFE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:48 pm

• rife •

Pronunciation: rayf • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Abundant in large quantity or numbers. 2. Ubiquitous, appearing everywhere, prevalent.

Notes: This word is suggestive of ripe enough that we should beware of confusing the two. The only directly related words are rifeness, the noun, and rifely, the adverb.

In Play: The two meanings of today's Good Word can be combined to refer to a large amount found everywhere: "The world is rife with aimless sinners." However, rife is almost always used in reference to an abstraction rather than to a concrete object: "To the astonishment of all concerned, the fire house turned out to be rife with fire code violations."

Word History: Today's Good Word is a rarity: it is a native English word. It goes back to Old English ryfe and seems to be related to words in other Germanic languages, like Modern Swedish river "to demolish" and Norwegian riv. However, it clearly is not borrowed from any Scandinavian language since the meanings are not close enough. (Dr. Lyn Laboriel's mind is always rife with excellent Good Word suggestions. Today's is no exception.)
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Postby Brazilian dude » Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:57 am

River is not exactly wrong, but that would be the present form. Since verbs are normally given in the infinitive, I would suggest using riva.

Brazilian dude

P.S. That's a good false friend for Frank.
Languages rule!
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