Inside every word is a tiny capsule of sense. You can sound words out, you can name their parts, but meaning only comes out when you get them into the right context. Suddenly, the sense goes POP! Let me tell you a story …
Shanghai, China. We have just bought a wooden frog. It makes a croaking sound when you rub its back.
A: [excited] I didn’t know Assassia was real!
A: Yeah. I thought Assassia was only in Minecraft. I didn’t realise it was a real tree.
S: [puzzled] Assassia? What’s that?
A: It’s the wood that this frog is made from. See. It says so on the bag.
S: Ah. [smiling] You mean Acacia.
It was a perfectly plausible attempt at saying the word. It might even have passed muster in a phonics screening. If you’re not aware of its Greek etymology, then Assassia is as…
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