April Fools For Word Nerds!

After spending a most informative and inspiring weekend with like-minded word enthusiasts, I came back to the classroom on April 1st.  I love having light fun on this day, and tried to think of an appropriate prank to play on my students.  I decided to convince them that over the weekend, I was given evidence that <tion> is indeed a suffix.

Anyone who follows this blog, knows that my students have investigated scads of words that appear to have the <tion> suffix only to find out that the <t> is really part of the base and NOT part of the suffix.  We even created the game show video “Can You Prove It“.  But like the contestant says in the video, “We haven’t checked every word ending with a <tion>, but in all of the words we HAVE checked, we have never found <tion> to be the true suffix.”  If is often the final syllable, but never the suffix.

Well, it turned out to be a funny prank.  Some students accepted the news as if they were expecting that one day we would find such a word.  Others remained quiet, pondering this new information and trying to decide whether or not to believe it.  Enjoy peeking in on our April Fool moment!

2 thoughts on “April Fools For Word Nerds!

  1. Brilliant!! We loved this! Among the things that impressed me was the never-ending quest for MEANING! “So what does ‘tion’ mean?” Equally impressive was the passion expressed by the students. Here in my class, Youssef was quick to say, “Well, so what does ‘mention’ mean?” Brilliant example. An investigation is bound to ensue.
    Thanks for keeping us entertained, and thinking!

  2. The prophetic opening repetition of, “This is going to blow your MIND,” set my anticipatory antennae a-twitching. And then, around the 43 second mark, ‘mental’ surfaced.

    Following Mary Beth’s speciously authoritative etymology then became as much of a delight to listen to as was watching the students’ delight both in realizing that you had been April fooled and also in being able to analyse the spoof.

    The initial ‘pro + ph + et/ + ic’ repetition was indeed just that, and that’s no fable.

    If schools really must exist, then this is just the sort of stuff that should be going on in them.

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