A response to the daily prompt: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unstoppable/

As anyone who’s had to learn English knows, it can be a frustrating, illogical language at times. It can be hard to find hard and fast rules, and when there are rules, there are always exceptions.

The word unstoppable though, is a nice example of how sometimes thinking logically about English makes sense.

Let’s imagine that you want to create an adjective to describe something that cannot be stopped. Well, if it’s a word to describe a noun, then it’s got to be an adjective, hasn’t it? But you need to start with a root word to develop that adjective from. Well, we’re talking about not being able to be stopped, so the verb to stop seems like a good place to start. How do we modify it?

We want to describe something that cannot be stopped, so we need something with a negative meaning. Prefixes are often added to adjectives to make the convey the opposite meaning, so let’s try one of those. What one could we use that indicates negativity/opposition? Well, un- is the most common, but there’s also in-, ir-, in-… Let’s play it safe though and go with un-.

So now we have unstop.

Clearly that’s too short. But aren’t lots of adjectives also formed by adding suffixes to verbs? Okay, we’ll try that, but which one? We’re talking about the quality of ability, aren’t we? Of being able, or in this case not able, to do something. Able, -able… sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Let’s try it. Or maybe -ible? Hmm, that doesn’t look right, not after that o and a single consonant. Unstopable!

Almost there, but there’s something not quite right. With that a coming after o and a single consonant, it feels like that o would have a long vowel sound, like hope. But maybe if we just slip another p in there…


That’s more like it!

So you see, sometimes with English you can get to the right answer by applying logic. I don’t always recommend being so logical, especially while wearing inflammable clothes, but sometimes the language can be user friendly, and on those occasions you might just feel… unstoppable! (very cheesy forced link, I know!)

Image: http://www.memecenter.com/fun/1067582/unstoppable

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