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SUPERFLUOUS

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SUPERFLUOUS

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:52 pm

• superfluous •


Pronunciation: su-pêr-flu-ês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Excessive, more than is necessary, extra and unnecessary.

Notes: You may use today's word adverbially if you cap it off with the usual suffix, -ly: superfluously. The long noun, superfluousness, is more awkward than the older, more compact superfluity [sup-êr-flu-i-ti]. The latter noun also exhibits a more graceful plural form: superfluities.

In Play: We are entering a season in which superfluity is acceptable. We tend to become excessive with food, presents, and generosity: "I love the Christmas decorations on your house, but I think the lights on everybody's clothes are a bit superfluous." It is a word you can use anywhere anytime: "No, your father and I think that hiring a maid would be superfluous so long as you and your brother are capable of movement."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Latin superfluus "overflowing", the adjective from superfluere "to overflow", composed of super "over" + fluere "to flow". Super comes from a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root that also developed into Greek hyper with the same meaning (hypersensitive, hyperactive). We would expect the PIE [p] to become [f] in English, so Old English ofer, which later became over, does not surprise us. The root for flu- "flow" comes from PIE bhleu- "to swell, well up, flow". It turned into English blow, bloat, and bladder as it accumulated various suffixes over the years. (It would certainly not be superfluous to thank Mark Bailey for suggesting today's extremely Good Word.)
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Re: SUPERFLUOUS

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:30 pm

Can someone elucidate the superficial similarity between the antonymns hyper- and hypo-?
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Re: SUPERFLUOUS

Postby Slava » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:18 am

Perry Lassiter wrote:Can someone elucidate the superficial similarity between the antonymns hyper- and hypo-?

None that I see. Hyper is up, hypo is down.
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Re: SUPERFLUOUS

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:03 am

Sorry, I meant the etymology that superficially looks like they both come from hypo-.
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Re: SUPERFLUOUS

Postby MTC » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:53 am

According to etymoline:

hyper-
word-forming element meaning "over, above, beyond, exceedingly, to excess," from Gk. hyper (prep. and adv.) "over, beyond, overmuch, above measure," from PIE super- "over" (see super-).

hypo-
word-forming element meaning "under, beneath" (in chemistry, indicating a lesser oxidation), from hypo-, comb. form of Gk. hypo (prep. and adverb) "under," from PIE *upo- "under, up from under, over" (see sub-).

NOTICE:
Do not place antonymic word-forming elements in close proximity. Explosion may result in damage to surrounding words.
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Re: SUPERFLUOUS

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:18 pm

:D
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: SUPERFLUOUS

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:59 pm

Is that what happened with inflammatory?
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