one of these words is not like the others

A sign I spotted in my neighbourhood:

Realise, rejuvenate and regenerate. (I suppose the copywriter chose these words to create an alliteration with remaking.)

One of these words is not like the others. Which one?

First, a quick breakdown of the three words into their constituent stems and affixes:

  • Realise: real (stem) + -ise (suffix)
  • Rejuvenate: re- (prefix) + juvenate (stem)
  • Regenerate: re- (prefix) + generate (stem)

(Read more about stems, suffixes and prefixes here!)

One of these words is not like the others. Which one?

When I first saw the sign, my original thought was realise. For it was pretty clear to me that realise is real + -ise, not re- + alise, and did not contain the affix re- like the other two words.

But upon rethinking the three words, I realized that rejuvenate‘s stem juvenate is actually a cranberry morpheme, whereas the stems of the other two words are not.

One of these words is not like the others. Which one?

The answer (based on my explanations above, anyway): realise and rejuvenate!

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3 Responses to “one of these words is not like the others”


  1. 1 Jared Seah Tuesday, 6 December, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    This post reminded me of my Sesame Street watching many moons ago…

    Which one does not belong? LOL!

    I’ve no clue what is a “stem” or a “prefix”; but since I am right-brained, I would have preferred the use of:

    Refresh, Rejuvenate, Regenerate!

  2. 3 Jared Seah Sunday, 11 December, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Thanks quirkyhill!

    The bonus in coming to your blog is I am learning quite a bit on linguistics :)

    Your whimsical posting either makes me laugh or smile – and that’s a good thing! You making me younger ;)

    I can save a lot on SKII. LOL!


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