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A synoptic paragraph is information brought “together” for the “eye” to read over quickly.
The English prefixes syn- along with its variant sym-, derived from Greek, mean “together.” You can remember syn- easily by thinking of synonym, which is a word that goes “together” with another word because it has a similar meaning. You can remember sym- by thinking of symphony, which is a group of instruments making sound “together.”
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A symposium was originally an occasion in which the ancient Greeks “drank together” at a private house party; one of Plato’s dialogues in which he discusses the nature of love while drinking with friends is called the Symposium. The word symposium later became generalized to an academic gathering.
The English prefix syn- along with its variant sym- mean “together.” Today we will synthesize what is known about these prefixes, making you sympathetic towards them!
Let’s begin today with the more common prefix syn-, which means “together.” When two people possess synergy, they work well, creating positive, flowing energy “together.” When clocks are synchronized, their times are placed “together” so that they all show the same time. A synonym is a word that can be placed “together” with another because they have similar meanings. The syntax of a sentence is the way in which words are put “together” so that they make sense.
A Jewish house of worship is called a synagogue, which etymologically means a place where people are led “together” to worship. And a synthesis? That would be a placing “together” of separate elements into a unified, intelligible whole.
For the purposes of symmetry, let’s now move on to the most common variant of syn-, or sym-, which also means “together.” A symphony is the sounding “together” of many instruments. If you were to cut a figure which possesses perfect symmetry exactly in half, both halves would measure “together” perfectly equally. A symbol is a sign that stands for or represents something, thereby throwing the two “together.”
Cold symptoms, such as a runny nose and coughing, are those results or indications that fall “together” with that particular viral disease. You might feel sympathy for someone suffering from cold symptoms, able to feel her suffering “together” with her.
Your linguistic synapses will now fire at full capacity when thrown “together” with those simply sensational syn- and sym-!