Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there an equivalent use of Autodidactic as a verb? Such as "John is an autodidactor". I couldn't find "autodidactor" or "Autodidact Eclipse RCP so I am better educated about how to use Eclipse RCP".

I am trying to express the idea of self-taught as a verb.

share|improve this question
2  
I think you mean an "agent noun" (i.e. "autodidactor") rather than a verb. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_noun –  Urbycoz Jul 25 '11 at 12:34
1  
@Urbycoz: Good point. I couldn't see why OP thought "autodidactor" involved any usage as a verb, but I think you have identified the [false] chain of reasoning. –  FumbleFingers Jul 25 '11 at 13:12
    
@FumbleFingers: I think autodidact in your answer is a participle, so a verb form. (So, of course is self-taught). –  TimLymington Dec 15 '11 at 11:42

1 Answer 1

The root word here is the adjective didactic, meaning instructive (sometimes, particularly of morals), which can be pluralised to give a noun meaning the art or science of teaching (the alternative being didacticism).

There are no verb forms associated with this root, but it can take the prefix auto- (Greek, self, same). Thus an autodidact is one who teaches [or more usually, has taught] himself.

So you don't say "John is an autodidactor" because John is an autodidactic.

A common expression used by people who don't know/like such relatively obscure words is to say "John studied at the University of Life", which gives a clue as to why we don't really need autodidact to function as a verb - the relevant verb is usually just live [every day of your life as a learning experience].

I suspect OP would like autodidactic to have more the sense of solitary home study, but since the word is more evocative of dispensing teaching than absorbing learning, I feel this extension of meaning is unlikely to catch on. A reasonable alternative for OP's context is..

Teach myself Eclipse RCP so I know better how to use it.

or perhaps Learn about..., Study..., or Bone up on... (that last is somewhat informal, but does perhaps imply "by my own efforts" more strongly).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.