The root is advertently. That means “knowingly”. Fair enough. The root of advertently is advertent. That means “attention”. Hmmm … quite close. The root of advertent is advert, which means “advertising”. Okay, I am missing something here. What does advertising have to do with advertently? Are these the real root words?

  • The first stop for etymology is etymonline.com. – Matt E. Эллен Jan 14 '13 at 9:20
  • I like your efforts and "analysis". Can you include the sources of your information? – Kris Jan 14 '13 at 12:01
  • The meaning of a word is not necessarily the same as the combination of the meanings of its parts. Also, the meaning of a word is not necessarily the same meaning as wha it used to be. Usually they are nearby which is the case here. – Mitch Jan 14 '13 at 13:20

Why do you think inadvertently means unknowingly? It doesn’t. It means, in the OED’s definition, ‘without due attention or thought; inattentively, heedlessly, carelessly; hence, unintentionally.’

The root meaning of words derived from Latin advertere is ‘turn or direct towards’. Advertent means ‘intentional, deliberate; conscious’, because in being advertent we pay attention to something, that is, we turn our minds towards it. An advertisement turns our direction towards the product or service that the advertiser is promoting.

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  • That's really great! – Ram Pillai Aug 14 at 13:12

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