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-!
- synergy: energy created ‘together’ with another
- synchronize: to place two clocks ‘together’ in time
- synonym: a word that can be placed ‘together’ with another due to closeness in meaning
- syntax: an arranging ‘together’ of words in a sentence to make it meaningful
- synagogue: a place where people are led ‘together’ for worship
- synthesis: a placing ‘together’ of separate elements into a unified whole
- symphony: a sounding ‘together’ of instruments
- symmetry: two objects which can be measured ‘together’ perfectly
- symbol: a sign thrown ‘together’ with that which it represents
- symptom: an indication that falls ‘together’ with an ailment or disease
- sympathy: a feeling of suffering ‘together’ with another person
- synapse: that which allows two nerves to join ‘together’