Monday, July 16, 2007

Lost and Found

The common Latin verbs ‘to lose’ and ‘to find’ can both be a bit tricky to remember as they are compound verbs, whose meanings have little to do with their roots.

The verb to lose is amitto, amittere, amisi, amissus, which comes from the basic verb mitto, meaning ‘to send’. I guess the idea is that if you’ve sent something away (a in Latin means ‘from’ or ‘away’), then you’ve lost it.

The verb to find is invenio, invenire, inveni, inventus, which comes from the basic verb venio, meaning ‘to come’. The idea here is if you come onto or across something, then you find it (compare the English word, ‘invent’).

In fact these two basic verbs have many compounds, some of whose meanings are obvious, others less so. Here’s just a short list:

admitto: to let in, admit, receive; grant, permit, let go
amitto: to lose, send away, dismiss, part with
committo: to bring together, unite; bring about; commit
demitto: to drop, let fall; sink; send/cast/go/flow/float/slope down
dimitto: to send away; dismiss (soldiers); dissolve (assembly)
emitto: to hurl; let go; send out; cast; discharge; expel; publish
immitto: to send in/to/into/against; insert; hurl/throw in; let go/in
intermitto: to interrupt; omit; stop; leave a gap
omitto: to lay aside; omit; let go; disregard
permitto: to let through; permit, allow; entrust
praemitto: to send ahead or forward
praetermitto: to let pass; pass over; omit; overlook
promitto: to promise
remitto: to send back, remit; throw back, relax, diminish
submitto: to allow to grow long; put forth, raise; submit
transmitto: to send across; go across; transmit

advenio: to come to, arrive, reach
circumvenio: to encircle, surround
convenio: to be appropriate to; come together; prosecute
devenio: to come to, arrive/turn up (at); reach
evenio: to come out/about/forth; happen; turn out
invenio: to come upon; discover, find; invent, contrive
intervenio: to come between, intervene; occur, crop up
obvenio: to meet
pervenio: to come to; reach; arrive
praevenio: to arrive/occur first; precede; surpass
provenio: to come forth; come into being; prosper
revenio: to come back, return
transvenio: to come from another place or person
subvenio: to come to help, assist; rescue
supervenio: to come up, arrive

[Definitions care of Whitaker's Words]


Martin Kemp said...

Here's a hook you might find helpful:

If you want to find something, you will need to conduct an inventory.

I should be a Latin teacher.

jm said...

nice one marty, and if you're ever interested the world needs more latin teachers.