There is much to be seen in this word – fittingly, since its Greek parts are em from en “in, within” and phatos from the phan root relating to seeing and showing (plus the adjectival ic). Is this an epiphany for you? We certainly seem to think of emphasis as something one may hear as soon as see – words most commonly found near emphatic include statement, answer, and voice, but nothing explicitly visual. And there is such a lung thrust in the saying of the word: the oomph of emph, the fat puff of air in phat… say, is this one phat word? The hemp it’s hiding may boost its cred. But it really does seem to me haptic – you feel the gut thrust, the air blast that takes your hat and tousles your attic. Its letters can provide many minutes of diversion for the anagrammatically inclined, but if the urge strikes me I patch it over and remember the camp I am in: this is not word blenderizing. And when the parts are together in order, you get a word that is said with two bookending syllables and a big, pushy, open one in the middle, as if to illustrate. If you don’t think it looks like much, you can double underline it. Or put it in all caps – will all those long straight lines and angles be EMPHATIC enough for you?
Get a premium subscriptionSupport Sesquiotica with a paid subscription and get extra premium content and goodies. Starts as low as $1 a month! Find out more and subscribe on Patreon.com
I am for hireI earn my living as an independent editor, writer, and educator. Find out more and contact me at jamesharbeck.com.
Buy the T-shirt (or coffee mug or hip flask)
Wear it proudly:
I operate on a NEED-TO-KNOW basis. I need to know EVERYTHING.
Buy it at cafepress.ca/sesquiphernalia
Buy my books
Word Tasting Notes Google groupGet just the word tasting notes daily by email – join the Google Word Tasting Notes group.