A is for Ape

Orangutan
A young orangutan discovers water at the Toronto Zoo.

Prefixes

The meaning of the following common prefixes may help you both to understand words and to build them.

Prefixes

a— stands for on, in, or at

atop, alike

a— onward or away (especially for verbs of motion)

arise, awake

a— not or without

amoral, agnostic

a— to or into a state

agree, avenge

ab— off, away, or from

absent, abstain

ad— to, towards, addition, or change into

adapt, adhere, advance

aero— air or aviation

aerate, aerobics, aeroplane

al, all— everyone or everything

all-day, all night, all-purpose, all right

almost, alone, already, also, altogether

al— to, towards, addition, or change into (similar to ad—)

alliterate, allocate, allotment, allow

an— without or not

anarchy, anorexia

an—  on, adjacent, or attached

ancestor, anchor, ankle

ambi— both, around, or uncertain

ambidextrous, ambiguous

ana— anew, again, up, or back

analyst, analogy

ante— before

antecedent, antedate

anti— opposite, against

antibody, anticlockwise

arch— superior

archbishop, archduke

Exercise

  1. Can you think of more examples for each prefix?

A is for Apple Blossom

Apple tree in bloom
A crab apple tree in full blossom, a joy to all passers-by.

 A is for alphabetic.

There are many ways to organize things: alphabetic, numeric, alphanumeric, chronological, or by priority or importance.

To alphabetise means to put a list of things into alphabetic or alphanumeric order, letter-by-letter or word-by-word. Computers alphabetise lists automatically, placing special characters first, then numbers, then letter-by-letter. Computers may have a “stop list” of little words that don’t count, e.g., a, an, the, to. Dictionaries and phone books usually place special characters and numbers within the alphabet as if they were spelled out.

Letter by letter

Aida Coffee House, Aidan’s Gluten Free, Aidas Network, Aid to Women

Word by word

Aid to Women, Aida Coffee House, Aidan’s Gluten Free, Aidas Network

A is for Asterisk

 

Image

A is for Asterisk

The asterisk (*) is a symbol or glyph used within a text to indicate a footnote, e.g., He always spoke of his sister, Anna*.

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Sometimes a row of asterisks marks a new section of text, where a sub-heading is not appropriate and a blank line might be missed.

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In comics and graphic novels, the asterisk is sometimes used with other odd symbols to spell out an oath, e.g., #@&*!

The word asterisk comes from the same root as star and aster, a flower of many petals.

 

* Anna’s real name was Anna-Marie.