Pleasant Re(collections)


When I was child I love to collect marbles. I liked the blue and green ones. And I enjoyed the large clear ones. I think they were called aggies.

And I fun rolling them, and organizing them by color, size, and clarity. Yes, I enjoyed my marbles!

But as I got older, lost interest in my marble collection. I don’t know what happened to all my marbles. You could say I lost all my marbles at a young age.

After marble stage I began to collect coins. My coin collection had coins dating back to the 19th century and I had a number of silver dollars in my collection. I learned how to clean them, and to take care of them and really make them shine.

I was proud of my collection.

About the same time as I started to collect coins, I also began to collect baseball cards. I fantasized about being a professional baseball player. The fact that I could not be as tall, or as big, or as strong, or as fast, as professional baseball players didn’t discourage me at all. Then again, I knew it was fantasy. And twelve year old boys are allowed to have their fantasies.





Sometime in my first year of high school, I developed a fondness and talent for chess. Just like some friends of mine who enjoyed watching a particular movie over and over and over again, I enjoyed playing over a game I had seen before. Over and over and over again.

So I began keeping a notebook of handwritten games. Handwritten only because we didn’t have typewriter at home, or when we did, it was manual and my skinny fingers didn’t have the muscles to punch the keys (I was really, really skinny).

And soon this notebook became too heavy to carry in a backpack and then later, I had several notebooks all weighing about the same.

But as luck would have had it, personal computers came into their own and I could (and did!) type my favorite chess games into a word processer and my notebook load became lighter.

I have never given up building up this collection and I am always eager to share a relevant game with another chess player.

Later, as an older adult (some may say “very older” as I am 51 years old and will soon be 52), I developed an interest in the English language. More precisely, the incredible number of words in English, the awesome multitude of definitions and the symbolisms that words convey.

Lately, I’ve been collecting words that are of Greek and Latin origin and how the plurals of many of the nouns. Most of these almost obscure words and their plurals do not simply take an “S” or “ES”.


Here are some examples. I know you probably have more.


A to AE or AS
[Mostly Latin words]

ALA (E) [n. (1) A wing or wing-like part, (2) One of the two side petals of certain flowers in the pea family, (3) A small room opening into a larger room or courtyard in ancient Rome]
ALGA (E) [n. Seaweed]
ALUMNA (E) [n. Foster daughter]
AORTA (S, E) [n. A main artery]
ANSA (E) [n. The projecting part of Saturn’s rings]
AQUA (S, E) [n. Water]
CAESURA (S, E) [n. A pause in a line of verse]
CERCARIA (S, E) [n. A parasitic worm]
CICHLID (AE, S) [n. A tropical fish]
COLUMELLA (E) [n. Any of various anatomical parts likened to a column]
DRACHMA (S, E, I) [n. An ancient Greek coin]
EULOGIA (S, E) [n. A devout petition to a deity]
FACULA (E) [n. A bright spot on the sun]
FASCIA (E) [n. Any long, flat, vertical surface]
FAUNA (S, E) [n. The animal life of a particular region]
FERULA (E) [n. A flat piece of wood]
FLORA (S, E) [n. (1) The plant life of a particular region, (2) Roman goddess of flowers]
FURCULA (E) [n. A forked bone, esp. of birds; the wishbone]
GEMMA (E) [n. A kind of bud, when separated from parent, a new plant can grow]
GRAVIDA (S, E) [n. A pregnant woman]
HETAERA (S, E) [n. A courtesan or mistress, esp. one in ancient Greece akin to the modern geisha]
HERMA (S, E, I) [n. A rectangular, tapering, stone statue bearing a carved head or bust, used as a boundary marker in ancient Greece]
INSULA (E) [n. A Roman block of buildings]
LAMIA (S, E) [n. An ancient Greek monster with the head of a serpent and the breasts of a woman]
LIBRA (E) [n. Roman unit of weight. The abbreviation lb. for pound comes from this word.]
LIGULA (S, E) [n. (1) Strap in Latin, (2) A strap-shaped organ or part]
LOCUSTA (E) [n. A type of flower cluster]
LORICA (S, E) [n. A cuirass or breastplate worn by Roman soldiers. Word is Latin but was coined between 1800 and 1850.]
LYTTA (S, E) [n. (1) A fibrous band in the tongue of certain carnivorous mammals, (2) A widespread genus of blister beetles]
MEDIA (S, E) [n. (1) A channel of communication, (2) The middle layer of a blood or lymph vessel]
MEDUSA (S, E) [n. (1) A Gorgon monster in Greek mythology, (2) A jellyfish]
MORULA (S, E) [n. A solid ball of cells resulting from division of a fertilized ovum, and from which a blastula is formed]
PALPEBRA (S, E) [n. An eyelid]
PAPULA (E) [n. An inflamed swelling of the skin]
PATINA (S, E) [n. Originally meaning a thin dish or pan]
PINNULA (E, S) [+S is UK only]
POSTCAVA (S, E) [n. A vein in higher vertebrates that receives blood from the lower limbs and empties into the heart]
PRECAVA (E) [n. A vein in higher vertebrates that receives blood from the head, arms, and chest and empties into the heart ]
PTERYLA (E) [n. A feathered area on the skin of a bird]
REDIA (S, E) [n. The larva of certain flatworms]
REGINA (S, E) [n. Queen in Latin and Italian]
SAPHENA (S, E) [n. A vein of the leg]
SCOPA (E) [n. The hair on the legs of many insects, esp. bees, which can transport the pollen between flowers]
SEQUELA (E) [n. Any abnormality following or resulting from a disease, injury, or treatment]
SPIRULA (S, E) [n. A small tropical and spiral-shelled mollusk]
STRIA (E) [n. Any of a number of tiny parallel grooves such as the scratches left by a glacier on rocks or the streaks or ridges in muscle tissue]
STRUMA (E) [n. (1) An abnormally enlarged thyroid gland, (2) A disease of the lymph glands]
SUCCUBA (S, E) [n. A demoness]
TAENIA (E) [n. A narrow headband or strip of ribbon worn as a headband]
TIBIA (S, E) [n. The inner bone of the lower leg]
TORULA (S, E) [n. A type of yeast-like fungus]
ULNA (E) [n. The inner bone of the forearm]
UMBRA (S, E) [n. A dark area, esp. in astronomy]
UNCIA (E) [n. A Roman coin]
UNGULA (E) [n. A rigid body structure composed primarily of keratin such as a nail, claw, or hoof, esp. on an animal]
VENA (E) [n. A blood vessel that carries blood from the capillaries toward the heart]
VERTEBRA (S, E) [n. One of the bones that make up the spine]
VIRTUOSO (S, VIRTUOSI) [n. An exceptional performer]
XERODERMA (S, E) [n. Excessive or abnormal dryness of the skin]
ZONULA (S, E) [n. A small beltlike zone]

[Mostly Greek]

ACIDOSIS (ACIDOSES )[n. Abnormally high acidity (excess hydrogen-ion concentration) of the blood and other body tissues]
APOSIOPESIS (APOSIOPESES) [n. Breaking off in the middle of a sentence]
APOTHEOSIS (APOTHEOSES) [n. (1) A model of excellence or perfection of a kind, (2) The elevation of a person to the rank of a god)]
BASIS (BASES) [n. The underlying support or foundation for an idea, argument, or process]
BILHARZIASIS (BILHARZIASES) [n. An infestation with or a resulting infection caused by a parasitic blood fluke]
DIESIS (DIESES) [n. The double dagger symbol (‡) used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote]
KATHARSIS (KATHARSES) [n. The purging of the emotions or emotional tensions, esp. through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music]
LEXIS (LEXES) [n. All of the words in a language]
LYSIS (LYSES) [n. The disintegration of cells by lysins]
METAMORPHOSIS (METAMORPHOSES) [n. A complete change of physical form or substance esp. by magic or witchcraft]
ORTHOSIS (ORTHOSES) [n. An ORTHOTIC (a brace for weak joints or muscles)]
OSMOSIS (OSMOSES) [n. A form of diffusion of a fluid through a membrane]
OSTEOPOROSIS (OSTEOPOROSES) [n. A medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile, typically as a result of hormonal changes or a calcium deficiency]
OSTOSIS (ES, OSTOSES) [n. The formation of bone]
PHTHISIS (PHTHISES) [n. Pulmonary tuberculosis]
PHYSIS (PHYSES) [n. A Greek theological, philosophical, and scientific term usually translated into English as “nature”, “the principle of growth in nature, or “change in nature”]
PLASMAPHERESIS (PLASMAPHERESES) [n. A process in which plasma is taken from donated blood and the remaining components, mostly red blood cells, are returned to the donor]
POLIS (POLEIS) [n. Most commonly translated as city-state, it can also mean citizenship and body of citizens]
PROBOSCIS (PROBOSCISES, PROBOSCIDES) [n. A long, flexible snout]
PUBIS (PUBES) [n. Either of a pair of bones forming the two sides of the pelvis]
PYROLYSIS (PYROLYSES) [n. The transformation of a substance produced by the action of heat]
SEMIOSIS (SEMIOSES) [n. (1) Any form of activity, conduct, or process that involves signs, including the production of meaning, (2) The process of signification in language or literature]
[n. A brief summary or outline general survey of something]

(BIO, CHEMO, NUCLEO, PARA, PHOTO, PSYCHO, RE) SYNTHESIS (SYNTHESES) [n. (1) The process of producing a chemical compound, (2) A combination or composition]
TELEKINESIS (TELEKINESES) [n. The ability to move objects with the mind]
THESIS (THESES) [n. A statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved]
THROMBOSIS (THROMBOSES) [n. A blood clot that forms inside a vein, usually deep within the leg]
XEROSIS (XEROSES) [n. An abnormal dryness of body parts]

MA, MATA, and More
[Mostly Greek words]

ANGIOMA (S, TA) [n. A tumor composed of blood or lymph vessels]
COMMA (S, TA) [n. A fragment of a few words or feet in ancient prosody]
ENIGMA ‎(S, TA) [n. (1) Something or someone puzzling, mysterious or inexplicable, (2) A riddle or a difficult problem]
FIBROMA (TA) [n. A benign tumor composed of fibrous tissue]
HEMATOMA (S, TA) [n. A swelling filled with blood]
KERYGMA (S, TA) [n. The preaching of the gospel]
LEMMA (S, TA) [n. A statement taken to be true in philosophy]
MAGMA (S, TA) [n. Molten matter from volcanos]
MYELOMA (S, TA) [n. A tumor of the bone marrow]
OSTEOMA (S, TA) [n. A benign tumor of bone tissue]
REGMA (TA) [n. A type of dry fruit comprising three or more cells which break open when ripe]
SARCOMA (S, TA) [n. A swelling or a tumor]
SEMINOMA (S, SEMINOMATA) [n. A malignant tumor of the testicle]
STOMA (S, TA) [n. Mouth]
TRYMA (TA) [n. A type of nut]

Enjoying my English (and Latin and Greek too!),


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