October 20, 2008

#01-173: Reading Boomtown Chronicles 45

wide view of an urban area with bushes in the foreground, over which is written "READING BOOMTOWN CHRONICLES"
Shenzhen, the Boomtown

Note: Between Lesson #01-128 and #01-207, I wrote 72 lessons explaining expressions in articles published in the Shenzhen Daily. Read more about "Reading Boomtown Chronicles."

Get Ready: What are some relics of old customs that are no longer necessary (like saying "God bless you" when we sneeze) that you can think of?

Boomtown Chronicles Part XVII - published Monday, October 13, 2008

  • The science being discussed in this article is "archaeology."

archaeology: the study of remains left by earlier people. It examines them and tries to learn something about their lives and environments. The second spelling preserves the root of the word: archa- at its very root means "first."

We also see arch- or archa- in the word "archaic," meaning old and, by extension, outdated. Another meaning, something like "having priority," shows up in the word "hierarchy," a system like an organizational chart that shows who is higher than whom. It also appears as a prefix in words like "archenemy," and "archbishop," where the ch is pronounced as in "teach." (In the other words I've given you, it sounds like k.)

This arch- is actually the same as the one in "architecture." The second half, -tect, means "to build" or "a builder." So an architect is the chief builder, and what he builds is called "architecture."

  • The "ancient architecture" discussed in the article is also called "above-ground historical relics." This is distinguished from those still in the ground; the "above-ground relics" are the ones you can see.

relic: something that survives from the past. When we say "historical relics," we are usually talking about actual objects, such as the buildings described in the article. Many of our customs are also relics. For example, we still say "God bless you" after someone sneezes, even though the original reason for doing so is now an obsolete idea.


Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenzhen

Practice: Choose the correct term to fill in the blank in the sentence below:

  1. archaeology
  2. archaic
  3. archbishop
  4. archenemy
  5. architecture
  6. hierarchy
  7. relic

  1. The Joker is Batman's ________.
  2. We should avoid using ________ words when writing for a modern audience.
  3. The priest reported a problem to the ________.
  4. She worked hard to move up in the ________ of her company.
  5. Some archaeologists spend their entire lives digging without finding a single important ________.
  6. Because she always enjoyed building design, she decided to study ________.
  7. The science of ________ has brought us a greater understanding of early civilizations.

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for October 20, 2008

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. g; 2. b; 3. c; 4. a; 5. f; 6. d; 7. e