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Effective | Vocabulary

Let’s explore the meaning and origin of the word “effective”. Created by David Rheinstrom.

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Video transcript

- [David] This one's gonna work like a charm, wordsmiths, because the word we're featuring in this video is effective. Effective, it's an adjective meaning successful, good at something. The etymology, the derivation of this word helps explain it, I think. Three Latin parts. First one, "ef" is a modified form of ex, meaning out. The second one, "fect," or fact, comes from a Latin verb that means to make, right? And just those two on their own give us effect, right? An effect is an outcome, a thing that you made happen, what comes out of a process. I hit a watermelon with a baseball bat. (melon splatting) That's a sound effect, right? Oh, okay, and finally, I-V-E, "ive," an adjective forming suffix. It has a meaning of tending to. Something that is effective tends to, or has the quality of making things happen, of making outcomes easily, powerfully. All right, let's look for similar related words. Think of some words that have that E-F-F, that eff beginning, or fect or fact in them, or end in I-V-E, end in ive. I'll put on some music. 10 seconds. Here we go. (upbeat music) So here are three that I came up with. Effusive, this is an adjective meaning pouring out, like you might shower someone with effusive praise. It has that eff prefix, right? The modified form of ex, meaning out. Then confection, this word means candy or sweets, though it literally means a thing that is made together, right? Confection, a mixed thing, a combination of sweets. And a third related word is factory, a place where things are made, a shoe factory, a chocolate factory, a car factory. That ory ending, O-R-Y, is a noun-forming suffix that means a place for, like laboratory or observatory. Let's use the word effective in a sentence or two. Marisa realized how effective her marketing campaign had been when she saw the line stretching around the block. It worked extremely well, the marketing campaign did, and now everyone wants to buy her donuts. Donuts, the universal food. Let me show you another one. The article that Devon wrote about IckyCorp's scummy labor practices was so effective that it put them out of business. Nobody wanted to work with them anymore, these weird business blobs that leave a trail of goo. I wonder what they made at IckyCorp. Actually, no, no, I do not wanna know. But here's what I do wanna know. I want you to know that you can learn anything. David out.