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  • You've probably seen an email or an internet post

    你可能看過電子郵件或網路文章

  • about how weird and random English spelling seems to be.

    有關英文拼字看似多麼的奇怪與隨機

  • But what if I told you that it actually makes perfect sense?

    但如果我告訴你,這其實一切都有完美道理?

  • In fact, that's spelling's job:

    這就是拼字的功能 -- 讓字有道理 假設拼字像是在剝洋蔥的皮

  • Making sense. Think of spelling a word

    這就是拼字的功能 -- 讓字有道理 假設拼字像是在剝洋蔥的皮

  • as peeling back the layers of an onion.

    這就是拼字的功能 -- 讓字有道理 假設拼字像是在剝洋蔥的皮

  • The first layer is a word's sense and meaning.

    字彙的第一層是道理與意涵

  • Often there are multiple layers of meaning.

    通常,意涵會有許多種

  • Another layer is the word's structure.

    另一層則是文字的構造

  • Think of the center of the onion as a word's base element,

    把字根看做是洋蔥中心

  • its essential kernel of meaning.

    是字義的核心

  • A free-base element, like O-N-E,

    一個沒有字根的字,像 O-N-E

  • or T-W-O,

    或 T-W-O

  • can stand on its own as a word,

    可以自成一字

  • like one, or two.

    像是一和二

  • A bound base, like the R-U-P-T of "erupt" or "rupture"

    結合型字根,像噴發(erupt)或破裂(rupture)中 的 R-U-P-T 需要其它的元素以構成單字

  • needs another element in order to surface in a word.

    結合型字根,像噴發(erupt)或破裂(rupture)中 的 R-U-P-T 需要其它的元素以構成單字

  • Two or more bases

    兩種或更多字根

  • give us compounds, like "twofold" or "someone" or "bankrupt."

    構成複合字,像兩倍的(twofold)、 某人(someone)、破產(bankrupt)

  • Once we figure out a word's meaningful elements,

    只要我們了解一個單字有意義的元素

  • We can peel back its history to shed a little more light

    我們便能解開它的歷史並更明白

  • on why it's spelled as it is.

    為什麼單字要這樣拼

  • The word "two," for example,

    舉例來說,two 這個字

  • needs its "W" in order to mark its connection

    需要 W 來與其他的字形成連結

  • to words like "twice," "twelve," "twenty,"

    像兩次(twice)、十二(twelve)、二十(twenty)

  • "twin" and "between."

    雙胞胎(twin)、之間(between)

  • A word's history is another layer of the onion.

    一個字的歷史是洋蔥的另一層

  • With that understanding, let's investigate the word "one."

    有這樣的認知,讓我們來檢視 one 這個字

  • First we need to check in with what it means.

    首先,我們先看它的意思

  • Unique, single, solitary.

    特別的(unique)、單一的(single)、單獨的(solitary)

  • "One's" historical layers include its relatives

    one 的歷史層面包含其他相似的字

  • "only," "once," "eleven," and even "a,"

    只有(only)、一次(once)、 十一(eleven)、甚至一個(a)

  • "an" and "any."

    一個(an)、任何(any)

  • But it's the morphological relatives -

    但它型態上的相似字

  • the ones that share the base O-N-E -

    字根都有 O-N-E 的字

  • That are really astonishing.

    十分驚人

  • There are the familiar ones, like "anyone,"

    它們都很相似,像是:任何人

  • and "one-track" and "oneself" - those are obvious.

    單軌的(one-track)、一個人(oneself) 這些明顯的字

  • But let's take a look at some unexpected derivations

    但讓我們看一些其它 one 比較不尋常的衍生字

  • of the word "one."

    但讓我們看一些其它 one 比較不尋常的衍生字

  • The word "alone" is built from the prefix A-L plus the base O-N-E.

    獨自一人(alone)這個字,是由 字首 A-L 和字根 O-N-E 所結合而成

  • It's the same A-L prefix that we see

    用字首 A-L 的字有

  • in "always," "already," "almighty" and "almost."

    總是(always)、已經(already)、 全能的(almighty)、幾乎(almost)

  • It means "all."

    都有「全部(all)」的意思

  • the word "alone" means "all one."

    alone 這個字的意思是「全部只有一個(all one)」

  • It was misanalysed in the middle ages

    但在中古世紀時被做了錯誤分析

  • as having the prefix "a," like in "asleep" and "awake" and "around,"

    而只有 a 的字首,像是睡著的(asleep)、 醒的(awake)和四周的(around)

  • and a new base was born: L-O-N-E,

    而新的字根 L-O-N-E 產生了

  • which then developed into its own family.

    它也發展出一系列相關字

  • In the word "atone," we find the familiar preposition "at"

    在「彌補(atone)」這個字中, 我們看到常用的介系詞 at

  • compounded with the base O-N-E.

    與字根 O-N-E 結合

  • See, when we atone for something we've done wrong,

    當我們想彌補做過的某件錯事

  • we attempt to make things whole again,

    我們試圖讓事情再度圓滿

  • to fix what's broken, to be at one again with whomever we hurt.

    更正錯誤, 與我們傷害到的人合一

  • But here's perhaps the best one of all:

    而這裡有個最棒的例子

  • the word "onion," which is also frequently derided as irregular

    「洋蔥(onion)」的拼字通常被看作不規則

  • or crazy, for its spelling of "uh" with an O.

    或沒道理, 因為它用 O 拼出 uh 的音

  • But again, if we look into the word's structure,

    但如果我們看這個字的構造

  • and its history, it's a mystery no more.

    和歷史,其拼字再也不奇怪了

  • When we look at the roots of an onion,

    當我們看洋蔥的字根

  • we learn that it is written as O-N-E plus I-O-N,

    我們知道它用 O-N-E 加上 I-O-N

  • the same suffix we find in "tension," "action," "union"

    是在緊張(tension)、行為(action)、 聯合(union)中的字尾

  • and thousands of other words in English.

    在英文許多單字中也可以看到

  • Unlike the many cloves in a head of garlic,

    不像蒜頭有許多瓣

  • an onion has a single bulb.

    洋蔥只有一顆蔥頭

  • It is marked by the state or condition of oneness.

    是單一的型態

  • Like an onion, English is one -

    就像洋蔥

  • one single writing system shared across time and space.

    英文是一種 跨越時空的獨特寫作系統

  • Its structure and its history have many layers,

    它的結構和歷史就像洋蔥的瓣

  • and peeling them apart can really add flavor to our language

    若把它們層層剝開, 可為語言增添風味

  • and spice up our understanding. See, spelling is never just about spelling,

    並豐富我們的認知 看吧!拼字其實不只是拼字

  • but about how written words make sense.

    而是讓字彙更合理

  • It's almost enough to make you want to cry.

    合理得讓人感動!

You've probably seen an email or an internet post

你可能看過電子郵件或網路文章

字幕與單字

影片操作 你可以在這邊進行「影片」的調整,以及「字幕」的顯示

B1 中級 中文 TED-Ed 字根 洋蔥 單字 歷史 噴發

【TED-Ed】拼字的意義 Making sense of spelling - Gina Cooke

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    VoiceTube 發佈於 2013 年 03 月 24 日
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