Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one taproot or multiple taproots.)
Here's an actual taproot, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons:
As you can see, a taproot is the main root that grows straight down into the soil.
More loosely, a taproot is the main source of something. In other words, whatever provides a way for something to grow and develop can be called a taproot.
You might ask why "tap" has anything to do with this concept. Here, "tap" means "to reach down into in order to pull something out of." (Think of "tapping your resources" or feeling "all tapped out.")
How to use it:
Talk about one thing being the taproot of or for another thing, in either a positive or negative way. You might be talking about some creative product being nurtured by some particular taproot: "His happy childhood was the taproot for his books." Or, you might be talking about some crime or bad behavior or bad outcome having been fed by some particular taproot: "The taproot of all their violent outbursts is their fear of being ignored."
You can take the natural metaphor further and say something grows from the taproot of something, or say that a taproot needs time to strengthen, that it needs to be ripped out, etc.
Her small southern hometown, with all its characters, charm, and hypocrisy, was the taproot of Kate's short stories and novels.
Albert D'Souza said it best: "Language is a taproot for the life of the society. When language grows, relationships bridge and society lives."
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "taproot" means when you can explain it without saying “source" or "wellspring."
Think of a time you were inspired to work hard on something, and fill in the blanks: "A desire to _____ was the taproot of my endless energy as I was _____"
Example: "A desire to fool my family into thinking we always keep a clean, organized house was the taproot of my endless energy as I was getting ready for their arrival."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now;let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're reviewing recently featured words with some activities created with my favorite vocabulary software: Vocabulary Worksheet Factory, made by Schoolhouse Technologies. It's a simple, flexible program that lets you input word lists and definitions, then create customized, fun worksheets for review. We're starting off with very easy activities, then working our way toward harder reviews throughout the month.
Oliver Sacks, talking about falling in love late in life: “…music I loved, or the long golden sunlight of late afternoon, would set me weeping. I was not sure what I was weeping for, but I would feel an intense sense of love, death, and transience, inseparably mixed.”
1. The opposite of TAPROOT could be
2. Taproot.com offers, appropriately enough, training and consulting for _____.
A. more finely tuned advertising efforts
B. better investigations and analyses of causes
C. staying afloat while in between jobs
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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