• affection •
Pronunciation: ê-fek-shên • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun, mass (no plural)
Meaning: Fondness, love, a friendly attraction toward someone or something.
Notes: Today's Good Word was originally derived from the verb affect. This word at one time meant "to fancy or love" and affection reflects that meaning. Affect today, however, means (1) "to influence", as 'something that affects the election', and (2) "to simulate, pretend", as 'to affect a British accent'. The noun corresponding to meaning (1) is affect itself, an influence, while an affectation is a pretense in sense (2).
In Play: Everyone here at alphaDictionary hopes that our free daily Good Words express our affection to all those who read them or contribute to their maintenance. We hope our efforts positively affect your vocabulary and assure you that our affection is no affectation. Here is an example of today's word: "Billy Gote expressed his affection for his nanny with a valentine he made at school just for her."
Word History: Today's Good Word comes to us via French from Latin affectio(n), a noun based on affectus, the past participle of afficere "to affect, influence". Afficere is composed of ad "to(ward) + the combining form of facere "to do". Afekt in Czech and Slovak means "emotion, heat of passion". The root of facere went into the making of many Latin words borrowed by English, including fact, manufacture, and facile. The Proto-Indo-European root that produced facere was dhe-/dho- "do, make", which shows up under D in other Indo-European languages, like English do and deed (something done) and even Russian delat' "do, make". (Today we thank the martyr St. Valentine, whose feast is celebrated today, the day he was buried on February 14, 270.)