sc as in scent

abscess

adolescent

ascend

ascertain

ascetic

convalescent

corpuscle

descend

discern

disciple

discipline

effervescent

fascinate

fluorescent (UK), florescent (US)

incandescent

irascible

isosceles

luminescent

miscellaneous

muscle

obscene

obsolescent

oscillate

Pisces

plebiscite

quiescent

reminiscence

rescind

resuscitate

scene

scent

scenario

sceptre (UK), scepter (US)

science

scimitar

scintillate

scion

scissors

scythe

susceptible

transcend

 

5 thoughts on “sc as in scent

  1. Leanne James

    Hi, would love to know why these words have the sc grapheme instead of ss. It appears to to keep the vowel short. Is it because it is derived from Latin/Greek and they didn’t double the s? Would love to explain the ‘why’ to my son. Thanks Alison. I love your blogs!!

    Reply
    1. alison Post author

      Hi Leanne, I think a lot of words with sc in English pronounced /s/ are based on words in source languages that contained an sc or sk, for example the Etymology online website (http://www.etymonline.com) says of “science” that it’s from Latin scientia “knowledge, a knowing; expertness,” from sciens (genitive scientis) “intelligent, skilled,” present participle of scire “to know,” probably originally “to separate one thing from another, to distinguish,” related to scindere “to cut, divide,” from PIE root *skei- “to cut, to split” (source also of Greek skhizein “to split, rend, cleave,” Gothic skaidan, Old English sceadan “to divide, separate;” see schizo-). Maybe your son would like to look up some other sc words on this website and see what it says? Alison

      Reply
  2. Leanne James

    Thanks Alison,

    This makes a lot of sense – separate, divide is in the meaning of most of the /sc/ words on your list:

    Scissors (used to divide)
    Discipline (work in a different discipline)
    Scenario (separate version)
    Pisces (the two fish)
    Descend, Ascend, Transcend (all moving a way from something)
    Rescind (taking your vote away)
    etc etc

    It is very similar to the /wr/ grapheme – they all mean to wrap or twist. Even the word ‘wrong’ on etymology online indicates that it is from old English and means a crooked (eg twisted).

    Fascinating isn’t it. I find this helps my son so much. Kids really need to know the why behind words!

    Reply
  3. Cameron B

    Thanks for this, it really helped. I made fun of my friend by mispronouncing the words incorrectly, because he unintentionally mispronounced miscellaneous. I plan on continuing to do it in the future.

    Reply

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