We have used the examples and tips given under http://internal.spellingbee.com/files/spellingbee.com/How%20to%20Study%20for%20a%20Spelling%20Bee.pdf to show how a competitor can use Phrase It Right to prepare for the competition. Lovers of words, word games, and crosswords can also use the tips given in this blog.
A. Greek and Latin roots
Make a list of important Greek and Latin roots. A comprehensive list is available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Greek_and_Latin_roots_in_English.
Let’s consider the Greek prefix “tele”. First make a list of all the words you wish to learn with “tele” as the prefix. We have listed few of them in the table below. Similar lists can be made for each root word.
||omnivorous nocturnal mammal; plural: teledus
||supposed ability to move objects at a distance by mental power
||a noncommissioned officer in the US navy; plural: telemen
||(biology) the condition of having a fundamental purpose; ADJ = teleonomic
||alternate spelling for the fish order Teleostei; plural = teleosts
||a fish of the order Teleostei
||navigational aid that uses radar to map the sky
||pertaining to religious mysteries; POS = N; ADJ = telestic
||spore of certain rust fungi
We can store these entries as Private Entries in the toolkit. The meaning can be added in the Context field. Each entry needs to be added separately. As we need a minimum of two words to create a collocation, we can consider “tele” as the headword, the main word as its collocation, and arbitrarily assign ADJ + N as the “formula”. The idea is to tweak the toolkit so that we can store and later retrieve the words we wish to learn. If we type the headword tele, all the words listed above are displayed. If we hover the cursor over the term, its context is displayed. Context is a free text field. We can add the definition, POS, etymological details, singular/plural forms, pronunciation, mnemonic, word pattern, or any other study tip.
If the words are to be added without the context, all can be entered under just one Private Entry.
B. History of words
Roots are available for Greek and Latin words only. Patterns for other foreign words can be created by collecting them under each language. The table below lists words that come from Hawaiian.
||hello or goodbye
||reef triggerfish. The pronunciation of this long, troublesome word is as follows: Humu (hoo-moo) + humu (hoo-moo) + nuku (noo-koo) + nuku (noo-koo) + wa* (wah) + pua’a (poo-wuh’-uh)
*a is pronounced as wa
Mnemonic: humu and nuku are repeated once in succession
||galaxy supercluster that is home to the Milky Way and 100,000 other nearby galaxies
||garland of flowers and/or leaves worn around the neck
Note: We can create a forbidden entry for the incorrect form “lie” and enter the correct word in the Context.
||traditional Hawaiian feast
||loose gown or dress
||small guitar-like musical instrument
We can store these words as separate Private Entries (if the meaning of each word is entered under its respective Context field) by taking “Hawaiian” as the headword and the respective foreign words as the collocations. All the terms are displayed if we type “Hawaiian” as the headword.
We can enter all terms as a single Private Entry if the context is not entered.
C. Lists of sounds
Word lists can be made of the various ways a certain sound is spelled in English.
For example, in Greek, the following pronunciation rules are used.
|initial x- is pronounced z
|coined word derived from Greek xeros (meaning dry)
ancient Greek officer in charge of gymnastic exercises
short pike used by Greek heavy cavalry
|in clusters such as ps-, pn-, or gn-, the usual English pronunciation drops the first consonant (e.g. psychology) at the start of a word
| g is silent as it is the first consonant
g is not silent as it is not the first consonant
We can store these words as separate Private Entries (if the meaning of each word is entered under its respective Context field) by taking the respective sound as the headword (for example, z-sound and gn-sound) and the respective foreign words as the collocations. All the terms are displayed if we type “z-sound” as the headword.
We can enter all the terms as a single Private Entry if the meaning of each word is not entered. We can enter the respective rule in the Context field.
Using these features, you can use the toolkit in innovative ways to create separate Private Entries for different classifications of words. This is great practice for spelling competitions, word games, and even crossword puzzles. Let the Phrase It Right toolkit help you become a master wordsmith!