Monday, April 6, 2009


-clude [CLUDE]
verb root -- to close; to shut

[From Latin claudere]

There's only one $10 word which includes the root -clude: that's occlude. I looked up the -clude root, because I couldn't quite figure out what tied the -clude words together. Dictionaries say claudere translates as either "to close" or "to shut." Thus, by its roots, include means "to shut in" or "to close in." Of course, English words don't always mean what their roots suggest, and they often will take on new meanings over time.

Here are the -clude words: conclude ("to bring to a close; to determine by reasoning; deduce; infer"); exclude ("to shut out, as in to prevent from being included, considered, or accepted"); include ("to contain, as a whole encloses parts or elements; to consider as part of a group; to confine within"); occlude ("to close, shut, or stop up, as a passage, opening, etc."); preclude ("to make impossible, as by action taken in advance; prevent; to put a barrier before; hence, to shut out; to hinder; to stop; to impede"); and seclude ("to place in or withdraw into solitude; remove from social contact and activity, etc.; to isolate; shut off; keep apart").

Occlude tends to be used in medical terminology, as well as in other scientific jargon. Here is an easy to understand explanation of why "Bypass surgery, stents do not prolong life":
Performing bypass surgery or angiography on a patient with heart disease is like pumping air into a car tire that has a slow leak. Sure, the tire will be sufficiently inflated for a while, but eventually the tire will have deflated so much that the car is not drivable. If the hole is not patched, the tire will deflate each time it is pumped up. So is the case with a patient with heart disease. The bypass or the angioplasty and stent will fix the probably temporarily, because these procedures provide clear passage ways for the blood; however, the arteries will repeatedly occlude unless the cause of the problem is addressed.

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