What’s in a word?

There is a word in English for the smell dry earth produces when it has just been rained on: ‘petrichor‘. I like this word, but it is certainly not a common one so I have found it hard to remember. Recalling words can be tough, even in our own languages! The way I have managed to fix this particular word in my memory is by looking at its etymology. It is composed of two Greek words: ‘petra’, meaning stone and ‘ichor’, the blood of the gods. This small network of associations in my brain makes recall far easier because I have a deeper understanding of the word and it is connected to other bits of knowledge in my head. However, etymology is by no means the only way to improve retention of vocabulary. Click on the neural network below to find out more and boost your study skills!

Ed Taylor (Head of Studies at King’s Training)

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