In yesterday evening’s CAE Complete class we were on a bit of a word formation frenzy. When looking at suffixes that make words into verbs a student pointed out that -ish is one such suffix, exemplifying the case with the verb flourish. More examples?…hmmm. At that moment my brain became void of all words. However, the brain is an infuriating beast and at 5am the examples started to flow.
So let’s start with NOURISH, a rhyming pal to FLOURISH. From there we go to GARNISH, which shares a link to food and from there we go to VARNISH. If the R disappears, we are left with VANISH. From there we make a leap to the fancy ADMONISH, despite scolding myself for not thinking of BAAANISH earlier.
By now, I am not just counting sheep, I am counting sheep who have taken on the quality of their verb. Surreal. I try and distract myself, but end up thinking about formal letter writing (as you do) and one of my favourite phrases: I would RELISH the opportunity… (to go back to sleep.) I love this last example because of its positivity, its keeness, and in spite of my yawn, I smile. And ping! CHERISH. Now there’s another beautiful word. Yet alas the sublime cannot last forever! All good things must come to an end, so I rounded up my counting of sheep with PERISH.
As an extension to this, it would be interesting to look at the other forms of these verbs.
Also bonus points for anyone who can explain the meaning of the adjestive SHEEPISH.