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Author Topic: The meaning of "intellection" and the the difference between "imbed" and "embed"  (Read 109 times)
Joe Carillo
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« on: June 19, 2017, 08:40:06 AM »

Grammar questions raised in an e-mail by Isabel E., Forum contributor (June 18, 2017):

You used a new noun in your message: "intellection." Is it another Pinoy invention like "actuation" for "act"? Just curious.

Btw, apropos of nothing, could you explain the difference between "imbed" & "embed"?   

My reply to Isabel E.:

The noun "intellection" is not new and certainly not another Pinoy invention. Actually dating back to the year 1579, it means "an act of the intellect," "the exercise of the intellect," or "reasoning." Intellection is used in some philosophical contexts in a way similar to the modern concept of "intuition."

Regarding the difference between “imbed” and “embed,” my Merriam Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary says they are variants of one another and it defines them in exactly the same way and words: as transitive verbs, “to enclose closely in or as if in a matrix” all the way down to the last definition, “to surround closely”; and as intransitive verbs, “to become embedded,” also in exactly the same way and words.  As to why both words mean exactly the same despite having different prefixes of Latin origin (“im-” and “em-”), it’s really hard to figure out and explain. I guess it’s just a fluke of English etymology dictated by the almost similar spelling and phonetics of the two variants.

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