The term “inform” comes from the Latin word “informare,” which means “to shape or form.” This is derived from the Latin roots “in-” meaning “into” and “formare,” meaning “to form.”

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “*merb-” means “to rub, turn, or change.”

2. Latin

From the PIE root, the Latin word “informare” developed, meaning “to shape or form.” The verb “informare” combines “in-” (into) and “formare” (to form), meaning “to give shape to.”

3. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “informare” evolved into Old French “enformer,” meaning “to instruct or teach.”

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “enformer” was adopted into Middle English as “enformen,” meaning “to instruct or impart knowledge.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “inform” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, retaining the meaning of “to give information.”

Phonetic Evolution

Over time, the pronunciation of “inform” changed from “enformer” in the Old French period to “inform” in the modern period.

Usage Examples

  • “The teacher will inform the students about the changes in the schedule.”
  • “Another example of ‘inform’ in a sentence is ‘Please inform me if there are any updates.'”

Cultural or Historical Notes

The development of the word “inform” was significantly influenced by the rise of literacy and the spread of written documents in medieval Europe, which contributed to its current meaning and usage.

The word “inform” reflects the act of conveying knowledge, emphasizing the importance of communication and understanding in human cognition and society.