Post Eagle Newspaper


May 24, 2024

45°F, few clouds
New Jersey

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Miscellaneous & Miscellany

Today’s words are MISCELLANEOUS & MISCELLANY which mean MIXED, ASSORTED. They come from an ancient gladiator stew which had mixed vegetables and various meats or fish. Since the gladiator was expendable and considered of little value, the owner and trainer fed them scraps and leftovers from other meals; sometimes spoiled food stuff or even rotted vegetables. A soup or stew with flavoring and spices sometimes concealed the bad taste; sometimes it did not. Nevertheless, this stew was called MISCELLANEA which comes from the Latin verb – MISCERE – which means TO MIX.

A word not often seen is IMMISCIBLE which comes from – MISCERE – meaning TO MIX, and the negative prefix – IN – which means NO, NOT; IN – changes to – IM – because the last letter of the prefix takes on the first letter of the root word. IMMISCIBLE means NOT ABLE TO BE MIXED.

We also have the plural form of MISCELLANY which is MISCELLANEA