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Reprehend

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Reprehend

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:51 pm

• reprehend •


Pronunciation: re-pree-hendHear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: Rebuke, condemn, censure, reprove.

Notes: The lexical relatives of today's word replace the final D with an S before attaching endings: reprehension "an act of reprehending", reprehensive "given to reprehending", and reprehensible "deserving reprehension". That is because it, like many English words borrowed from Latin, via French or directly, is based on the past participle of the Latin verb reprehendere, reprehensus.

In Play: The implication of this verb is that the reprehendee had committed at least a faux pas in the eyes of the reprehender: "No matter how often he was reprehended, Calvin couldn't help laughing at what went on in the legislature." Mothers sometimes form an inescapable habit of reprehending their children: "I visit so seldom, mother, is because whenever I come, you reprehend me for not attending church."

Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed from French, but it goes back, as mentioned above, to Latin reprehendere "to seize, blame, censure". I'm sure you recognize its structure: re- "again, back, against" + pre-hendere "grasp, grab". Don't try to make sense of it; it has been around for a long time and gone through many changes. We see its original meaning in prehensile "adapted to grasping", as the prehensile tails of monkeys. The root of prehendere, hend-, comes from a Proto-Indo-European word ghe(n)d- "to take" which, without the Fickle N, went on to become English get. (Lest I be reprehended, let me express all our appreciation at this point to Rob Towart for recommending today's Good Word.)
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Re: Reprehend

Postby call_copse » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:41 am

Reprehending folks on the internet for grammatical errors in posts is considered infra dig, yet I find I must point out a superfluous 'is' in the final sentence of the otherwise impeccable In Play section.
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Re: Reprehend

Postby MTC » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:29 am

I suspect the "is" is not extra, cal copse, but two other words are missing from the beginning of the sentence: "The reason I visit so seldom, mother, is because...."
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Re: Reprehend

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:10 pm

Mother should be capitalized in that sentence, because it is used as a name. As a writer I would prefer to delete the is and make it a shorter, tighter sentence. "The reason" is already implied.
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Re: Reprehend

Postby misterdoe » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:02 am

Perry Lassiter wrote:As a writer I would prefer to delete the is and make it a shorter, tighter sentence. "The reason" is already implied.

I had a teacher in high school who asserted that "the reason [why] is because" is "language, maybe, but not English."
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Re: Reprehend

Postby bamaboy56 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:21 pm

I had a teacher in college that said that the word "that" is used more than it should be. To this day I find that the word "that" can be dropped in most cases where "that" is used. The underlined that can be substituted or dropped. Just saying.
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Re: Reprehend

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:52 pm

I agree. One of the first things I look for in editing my first drafts is whether the word "that" appears and whether it can be dropped without creating problems for the meaning or rhythm.
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