Posted by: Jack Henry | May 24, 2018

Editor’s Corner: New Word Creation

While reading about language recently, the topic of blended words (also known as portmanteaus) came up. These words are created from parts of two different words. A couple well-known examples of blended words are brunch (breakfast/lunch) and sitcom (situation/comedy). Some newer examples are Globish (global/English) and mansplaining (man/explaining).

I also read about blended words that are created from one whole word and part of another. An example of this is motorcade (motor/cavalcade).

And that took me to an article about splinterwords, which are created when a fragment of a word is used in the creation of new words. Some examples of splinter words are words that end in -holic, like shopaholic, chocaholic, and textaholic, all of which describe people who seriously or jokingly have addictive tendencies.

And finally, I read about clipping, which is the process of creating new words by dropping one or more syllables from a word. A few examples of clipping are cell (cellular phone), exam (examination), photo (photograph), and even words like veep (which derives from VP, which derives from vice president).

I love blended words; they are so imaginative (and sometimes humorous). While it’s true that we don’t always like how English is changing, we’re speaking and writing in a living language that is continuously evolving. Blended and clipped words are great examples of how fun change can be.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

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