Suspect Prefix

I despair.

My daughter was doing her English homework this morning. Why not last night?

Well we have visitors and things are too much craic in the evening to bother about homework. Anyhow, I digress, it’s a habit I learned from my mother.

The topic of the homework was prefixes. She had to place particular prefixes in front of a series of words and also explain the meaning of the prefix. In other words she had to show she understood what a prefix does to the word it goes in front of. She made the usual mistakes whilst getting the hang of it, but seemed to be cottoning on rightly.

So then, the prefix she had to use was ‘pro’, the example given was ‘proactive’ and she came up with ‘protein’.

No, I said, ‘tein’ isn’t a word in its own right therefore in that instance ‘pro’ isn’t a prefix. Likewise with ‘professional’, ‘production’ and so on.

Eventually she settled on pro-Europe and pro-choice (we didn’t get into the specific meanings of that – it will keep for another day).

As I made school lunches, sandwiches for the others – tuna, and banana for Sorcha if you’re interested – she says ‘Daddy, what about ‘sus’.’ The example given was ‘suspect’.

In the name of God, and this is in a textbook. I explained that there is no such word as ‘pect’ therefore ‘sus’ is not a prefix, ergo the book was wrong. And Cáit, in fact ‘sus’ does not act as a prefix in any context. I love it when the book is wrong.  I pointed it out to my own teacher in primary school once and he hated me for it.

Little did I suspect when I got up this morning that this conversation would prefix my day. I am awaiting with profoundly bated breath the markings of the teacher.

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