Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Word of the Day

superficies\soo-per-FISH-eez\n. 1: a surface of a body or a region of space 2: the external aspects or appearance of a thing.

Example Sentence: Although there have been changes in the superficies of our lives, many of the human dilemmas faced by our ancestors are still quite recognizable.

Did you know? Look below the surface of "superficies" and "surface" and you'll find the very same Latin roots: "super-," meaning "on top," and "facies," meaning "face" or aspect." English speakers plucked "superficies" right from Latin - it menas "surface" in that language. Our word "surface" came to us by way of Middle French, where "sur-" (which comes from "super" and also means "on top") was combined with "face (meaning "face"; from "facies"). We added "surface" to our crop of borrowed words around 1600, and the first known use of "superficies" is from 1530. One tricky thing to keep in mind about "superficies" is that it can be singular (even though it ends in an "s"!) or plural. There is no "superficie" or "superficy."

My use: The superficies of our house has changed from when we first bought it. We re-did the yard.

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