Tricky Words in this week‘s OVI
Faculty. There's a difference between American English (AmE) and British English (BrE) here which might lead to misunderstandings, albeit probably not life-threatening. In the BrE sense, which is used by English speakers around Europe (and understood by AmE speakers as well), a faculty is one of the larger parts in the organization structure of a university, such as the Faculty of Medicine, Law, Natural Sciences, Engineering, or Materials, Metallurgy and Recycling. In the AmE sense, the faculty is the teaching staff of a university or college as a whole, so lecturers, assistant professors, associate professors (docenti) and professors are all members of faculty in an American university. Faculties in European universities are divided into schools, departments or institutes, depending on the specific university's choice of names.
What do all these words have in common: polygon, diagonal, orthogon, hexagon, trigonometry? They all contain the word “gon”, which is the English form of the Greek gónia, meaning “angle”. So polygon means a shape with many angles, diagonal is the line crossing a rectangle from one angle to the opposite one, orthogon means a right-angle (rectangle is the Latin form), hexagon means a regular shape with six angles and six sides, and trigon means a triangle, so trigonometry means the measurement of angles in a triangle, specifically a right-angled triangle. Another word for “gon” is “grad”, and before “degrees” and “radians” a circle was said to consist of 400 gons or grads, so a right-angle had 100 gons or grads. This looks good in decimal terms, but 360 degrees is more useful, because it can be divided more times without leaving fractions (zlomky).