The Latin root word her and its variant hes both mean “stick.” So as to not get in a “sticky” situation when seeing these root words, let’s take a short vocabulary journey to make these roots “stick” in your mind.
First let’s take a look at the Latin root word her, which means “stick.” When glue adheres to paper, it “sticks” to it. Adherents of a particular political candidate are supporters because they etymologically “stick” to that politician.
Your English teachers have probably talked about coherent essay writing, the “sticking” together of words in an economical, intelligible way. If you write or speak in an incoherent fashion, your words don’t “stick” together very well, causing confusion and a lack of clarity. The prose of excellent writers usually coheres, or “sticks” together flawlessly.
Since that’s “stuck,” let’s move on to the variant hes, which also means “stick.” When you hesitate over a decision, you become “stuck” as to what to do, remaining undecided as to the proper course of action. Ever used super glue? You might be hesitant, or “sticking” in indecision, before using that adhesive, which “sticks” to practically anything, and is very hard to remove.
Back to your English teacher. When she asks you to give a cohesive argument in a paper, she is asking that your words all “stick” together in a smooth flow, rather than adding in extra fluff. If indeed you do achieve cohesion of words, your entire essay exhibits the property of “sticking” together nicely, and you’ll probably get an A on it!
Now that both her and hes are “sticking” nicely in your mind, you’ll no longer get “stuck” on her, even if it is Valentine’s Day!
- adhere: ‘stick’ to
- adherent: one who ‘sticks’ to someone else
- coherent: ‘sticking’ together
- incoherent: not sticking ‘together’
- cohere: ‘stick’ together
- hesitate: to ‘stick’ in indecision
- hesitant: ‘sticking’ in indecision
- cohesive: of ‘sticking’ together
- cohesion: act of ‘sticking’ together