Thompson Rivers University

Get to Know Lingo

  Posted on: September 16, 2014

No matter the discipline you study, each has its own particular set of key words, word parts, and other linguistics preferences. If you are new to an area of study, one way to succeed is to take the time to learn the vocabulary, and also the way in which words are used, for your subject.

For example, did you know that ‘cement’ is not the material beneath your feet as you walk along a sidewalk! Actually, cement is a powder used in making ‘concrete’, and if you are a trades student it is worth your time to know the difference.

In biology, knowing the meaning of Latin terms can actually help you better visualize and remember. For example, the Latin word patella, meaning small dish, refers to the kneecap! Follow this link for more Latin: http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/courses.hp/zool250/Roots/RootsMain.htm

Taking your first political science course? Terms like ‘state’, ‘nation’, ‘region’, and ‘community’ may have very different and specific meanings from the ones you are familiar with or assume. Check here for a glossary of political terminology: http://democracy.org.au/glossary.html

The reference section in the TRU library holds a number of discipline-specific dictionaries and glossaries, and of course the friendly staff at the Writing Centre will be happy to help you with your vocabulary questions.

Image by Augustus A. Gould
Mollusca and Shells , 1856 Smithsonian Library Catalog Source No.: (OCoLC) ocm04822013

Scientific Names (as listed on image):Patella pimbriata; Patella luctuosa; Patella cinnamomea; Patella citrullus; Patella sagittata; Patella (Lottia?) araneosa; Patella argentata; Patella talcosa; Lottia pintadina; Patella (Lottia?) scabra;