Post Eagle Newspaper

Monday

Feb 26, 2024

45°F, few clouds
New Jersey

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12:00:00

Intra – Inter

The Latin preposition – INTRA – meaning – WITHIN, INSIDE is used as a prefix in many English words. The second part of the following words is also from Latin. One can easily see the original thrust of the word from knowing both parts.

For example:

INTRAMURAL – MURUS – WALL (school walls)
INTRAUTERINE – UTERUS – WOMB
INTRAVENOUS – VENOSUS – FULL OF VEINS
INTRADERMIC – DERMA – SKIN
INTRATELLURIC – TELLUS – EARTH, ROCK

The words – INTRAMURAL and INTERMURAL – cause some confusion if one does not know the Latin meanings of – INTER and INTRA. An intermural contest is held between different schools. An intramural contest is held in the same school.


The Latin preposition – INTER – meaning – BETWEEN, AMONG is used as a prefix in many English words. The second part of the following words is also from Latin. One can easily see the original thrust of the word from knowing both parts.

For example:

INTERFERE – FERRE – TO BEAR or CARRY
INTERFUSE – FUNDERE – TO POUR
INTEREST – ESSE – TO BE
INTERJECTION – JICERE – TO HURL
INTERLOCUTION – LOQUI – TO SPEAK
INTERLUDE – LUDERE – TO PLAY
INTERMITTENT – MITTERE – TO SEND
INTERPELLATE – PELLERE – TO PUSH
INTERROGATE – ROGARE – TO ASK
INTERRUPT – RUMPERE – TO BREAK
INTERVENE – VENIRE – TO COME
INTERVAL – VALLUM – A DITCH, A RAMPART

The word INTERVAL needs an explanation. The Roman army would fortify their positions by digging deep trenches around their camp. The attacking barbarians would have to cope with going up and down these ditches which sometimes had pointed stakes that would spike them. The level surface between these ditches was called the – INTERVALLUM.