Ever since I discovered that ruth, meaning compassionate or merciful, was an antonym for ruthless as well as a woman’s name I’ve been on the lookout for other words with little-known or rarely-used roots. As it turns out, there are quite a number of words with the prefix dis that have little or an obsolete relationship to their roots. To use the current slang version of the prefix, they have been dissed.
Today let’s tackle another pair of easily confused words: allude and elude. And for good measure, let’s throw in delude.