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Dr. Goodword
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Location: Lewisburg, PA


Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:23 am

• therefrom •

Pronunciation: ther-frêm • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adverb

Meaning: From that point on.

Notes: We don't often use the there- words but they are there to be used. We tend to get stuck on thereby, therefore and maybe thereof in legal documents. But several other prepositions have a corresponding adverb preceded by there: thereto, thereafter, thereupon, and thereunder. Only one has the adverbial -s: thereabouts.

In Play: The basic sense of this word is directional; "There has been a fish kill in Lake Meade, and all streams flowing therefrom are deemed polluted." However, that direction may be concrete or abstract; "If her basic assumption is false, all deductions therefrom are false."

Word History: Today's Good Word was originally a compound: there + from. Now, there comes from a pre-Germanic pronoun to, related to Russian to "that" plus an adverbial suffix -r, seen also in where. This word is also related to German da "there". It originally meant "forward", as seen in a variant, fro, as in "to and fro". (We are grateful today to Dan Joseph for the suggestion. I have suffered a stroke but am happily recovering therefrom.)
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