Fun English Fact of the Day

I wonder how many people just stop reading when they see a phrase like “fun English fact”? Well, anyway.

You know the words “genus” and “species” from biology, right? In Homo sapiensHomo is the genus and sapiens is the species. A species is a very particular type of organism, while a genus is a broader category that the species belongs to.

In fact, you might say that a species is very specific, and a genus is more generic.

Whoa. Did I just blow your mind?

Yes, in fact, “species” and “specific” both come from the Latin word “species,” meaning a particular type or sort, while “genus” and “generic” both come from the Latin word “genus,” meaning race, kind, or family. The genus/generic connection becomes even clearer when you realize that the plural of “genus” is “genera.”

Mad props to the Online Etymology Dictionary for enabling today’s post. Also, I want to apologize for using “etymology” and “mad props” in the same sentence. Actually, wait, no I don’t. I regret nothing.

Today’s knowledge bomb is officially dropped. Carry on.

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4 responses to “Fun English Fact of the Day

  1. When I was in college, I had the idea of studying Latin. My father talked me out of it, He’d studied Latin (it had been mandatory when he’d gone to college), and he said he’d never used it for anything.

    “Of course,” he said, “you do get to find out where words come from.”

  2. Yay, Latin! \^____________^/ It’s so useful, and I love it.

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