'Vert' Convert


Quick Summary

The Latin root word vert means ‘turn.’ This root gives rise to many English vocabulary words, including vertical, revert, and convert. This root word can keep your word sense right-side up instead of inverting it by ‘turning’ you upside-down.

The Latin root word vert means ‘turn.’

For instance, when you invert something, you ‘turn’ it on its head, or upside-down. When you revert to the beginning, you ‘turn’ back to it. When a robber diverts the police, he ‘turns’ them away from what he is in the process of doing.

Imagine that you are standing on top of a very tall cliff. If you are afraid of heights, you might avert your eyes, ‘turning’ them away in fear. You might also be afraid of the completely vertical drop, ‘turned’ perpendicular to the earth. You also might experience vertigo, or a wild ‘turning’ in your head which makes you dizzy. At this point it would probably be very easy for someone to convert or thoroughly ‘turn’ you towards the idea of never approaching a cliff again!

Are you an extrovert or its opposite, an introvert? An extrovert is someone who is ‘turned’ outward towards other people. An introvert, on the other hand, is ‘turned’ more within, preferring his or her own company to that of others.

Let’s take yet another ‘turn’ at learning that vert means ‘turn.’ You might think that it would be a bad thing if one of your vertebrae were ‘turned.’ It would keep a chiropractor in business! All kidding aside, vertebrae originally referred to bones upon which other bones can ‘turn.’

The purpose of advertisements is to ‘turn’ the attention of potential customers towards a certain product or service. One must be careful, however, not to be perverted, or thoroughly ‘turned’ from normal thrifty behavior into buying something you would be better off without!

Now your vocabulary will go vertical since you have learned so much about the root word vert—‘turn’ your attention towards this root, and you cannot help but be diverted towards word excellence!

  1. invert: ‘turn’ upside-down, or on its head
  2. revert: ‘turn’ back
  3. divert: ‘turn’ from
  4. avert: ‘turn’ away
  5. vertical: ‘turned’ up
  6. vertigo: ‘turning’ dizzily
  7. convert: thoroughly ‘turn’
  8. extrovert: ‘turned’ outwards
  9. extravert: ‘turned’ outwards (variant spelling)
  10. introvert: ‘turned’ within
  11. vertebrae: bones which ‘turn’ upon each other
  12. advertisement: that which ‘turns’ you towards a product
  13. pervert: to thoroughly ‘turn’ away from normal behavior

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