If you thought that vocabulary improvement would only benefit your grades in your English class, think again! A good vocabulary is crucial in any field of study, for several reasons. First of all, there might be a specific list of words that you need to know in order to communicate on even basic topics in that field, and areas such as medicine and engineering have technical terms that must be thoroughly learned before beginning any study program. Second, in order to learn more on any topic, you’ll have to read what other people have written about it, which means you’ll need to be able to comprehend some possibly very advanced materials. A third reason that vocabulary helps you make rapid progress no matter the field is that your skills will be tested in school by the results of the essays and exams you’re given, and if you don’t have the verbal skills to prove your abilities to the professors, you’ll never be at the head of the class. For these and many other reasons, it’s important to continue to learn new vocabulary words in all areas of study, whether you’re interested in art, music, literature, or science. In the latest update to the Oxford English Dictionary, some science-centered words were added to the official list of English vocabulary – put these on your “A” list, and you won’t go wrong!
One of the modern methods of energy-efficient, space-saving, and production-intensive farming is aquaponics. Aquaponics refers to raising fish and other water-based species in a mostly closed system, usually in combination with edible plants, where the waste from the fish feeds the plants, and the plants sometimes feed the fish. The technique as well as the word are a combination of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (soil-free gardening). While the word itself is only a few decades old, the concept goes back many thousands of years. You can still see ancient stone-rimmed fish ponds in Hawaii, and farmers in Asia have long combined the raising of rice and of fish in the same closed paddies.
The Latin verb vorare (“to devour”) gives us the root suffix of this word, just as it does the words carnivore and omnivore. The first half of the word is based on the noun algae, the chlorophyll-laden plants found in fresh and salt water that we tend to call “seaweed” in the ocean. An algivore is a fish or snail or other water creature that feeds on algae.
Agrisicience is another compound word, this time combining the words agriculture and science. As you might imagine, someone who is studying agriscience is probably quite familiar with the terms aquaponics and algivore.
An altiport (another compound word, from “altitude” and “airport”) is a high-mountain airfield that generally has one steep runway where small planes take off (going downhill) and land (going uphill). Most of the world’s altiports are in the French Alps near ski resorts.