Saturday, January 26, 2013

Word Mix-Up: RIGHT and RITE

RIGHT: The English adjective "right" means straight, direct, not bent. It also refers to the direction right (as in the right hand), the opposite of left. The noun "right" means something that is morally right, a duty, an obligation. The Germanic root *rekhtaz is related to the Latin root reg- which you see in English words such as regulate, regular, etc.

RITE: The noun "rite" refers to a religious ceremony or custom. It is from the Latin word ritus. You can see this same root in the English adjective "ritual."

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