hemi and demi
Posted: 03 October 2007 12:14 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Are there any rules to say when to use “hemi” for half, as in hemisphere, and when to use “demi”, as in demigod?

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Posted: 03 October 2007 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I don’t think so.

Although, demi- is from Latin and hemi- from Greek, so if you don’t like mixing and matching roots, you could keep each with their respective languages. But that would be personal preference when coining words, not a hard and fast rule.

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Posted: 03 October 2007 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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And to confuse things further there’s semi-, also from Latin. One of my favourite words combines all three - the hemidemisemiquaver of musicians.

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Posted: 09 October 2007 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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aldiboronti - 03 October 2007 02:07 PM

And to confuse things further there’s semi-, also from Latin. One of my favourite words combines all three - the hemidemisemiquaver of musicians.

That’s rather like the 19th century mixed drink “half and half” (half pint of porter in a pint glass with a half pint of ale), where, if a Cockney costermonger wanted only a small glass of the same, he’d order “a narferarf’n’arf”

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