Further realization

I’m still reeling a bit over my realization about the word realize.

When you finalize something, you make it final. It wasn’t final to you before, that is to say, it wasn’t what you understood to be complete.

When you realize something, you make it real. It wasn’t real before, that is to say, it wasn’t part of what you understood about reality.

I just realized.

It’s fun, to me, to discover new nuances about familiar old words and gain a deeper understanding about their meaning.

Sometimes the discovery is a correction, as the time I referred to a colleague as my “erstwhile” co-worker, having always understood it as a synonym for “esteemed,” only to learn the word may indeed refer to an esteemed colleague but more accurately refers to a former colleague.

And sometimes, as this time, it simply tells where the word came from. I always knew what realize means, but I hadn’t noticed its kinship to finalize, with the “ize” performing essentially the same function in both cases.

Your reaction may be, “Yeah, so?” What can I say? I’m a word nerd. Are you just now realizing that?

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of It's Going to Be All Right, Echoes of Freedom Past, Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

One thought on “Further realization

  1. Sounds like you might be interested in Latin. So many words (in the Romance languages, but also in English) have their roots in Latin. The etymology website etymonline is also very cool for researching word origins.

    A fellow word nerd 🙂

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