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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The word elaborate originated in 1575 from the Late Latin word ēlabōrātus, meaning, worked out. The word is constructed from the root letter, ē meaning out or forth, and the word labor meaning, work, toil or exertion. The word takes the form of an adjective and a verb. Elaborate, the adjective, is used to describe something highly complex, detailed or sophisticated. The word is also an operation or study that is conducted with great minuteness.  It is also used to describe something painstaking and minutely careful. Elaborate, the verb is to work out with care, detail and effort to express in greater length. The earliest use of the Latin word was by writers on alchemy or medicine. The term was used with the definition of, to produce or develop.

The word elaborate can be used to describe a piece of artwork, an explanation, or a map, or describe the painstaking and skilled work of someone that consists of minute detailing that may have the ability to convey large amounts of information. Elaborating on a piece of writing is extremely important in expressing a clear message to the reader, as well as to give the reader a better understanding of a situation. The word tends to be a teacher’s favorite word as it appears extremely often on the written works of students. However, among students, the word also tends to be the most often ignored. The word Elaborate can also be used in a bad connotation, as something elaborate may appear flashy or overdone. Elaboration can often rid something of its simplicity, in which something meant to be discreetly conveyed becomes obvious or blown to greater proportions. The word is used by teachers to encourage their students to explain a situation in greater detail, but the word is often written standing alone, directed towards a sentence or a group of sentences, underlined or circled, often offering no indication as to why the phrase needed to be expanded on or be given in more detail, or how it could be elaborated on. The word alone is extremely vague, it is no wonder students do not attempt to fix the mistake and lack the ability to write elaborately.

[1] Oxford English Dictionary, "Elaborate, adj." Last modified 2008. Accessed November 19, 2012. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60078?rskey=71BIZT&result=1&isAdvanced=false#eid

[2] Oxford English Dictionary, "Elaborate, v." Last modified 2008. Accessed November 19, 2012. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60077?rskey=BMN8nN&result=2&isAdvanced=false#eid

[3] Merriam-Webster, "Elaborate" Last modified 2008. Accessed November 19, 2012. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elaborate

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