February 2nd, 2012

words are sexy


dissert (dih-SURT) - v., to speak or write at length.

What one does in a dissertation. And no, it's not a modern back-formation from that -- that word does exist, but it is dissertate. Both dissertation and dissert were borrowed around the same time (1620 give or take a decade) from the same Latin root, dissertāre, to set forth at length, the frequentative form of disserere, to arrange in order, from dis-, here acting as an intensifier rather than the root sense of "apart" + serere, to put together.

He cornered me at the department holiday party and disserted at me about his research.