Back-formations, blends, and other types of word-formation

Back-formations and blends are becoming increasingly popular. Back-formation is the reverse of affixation, being the analogical creation of a new word from an existing word falsely assumed to be its derivative. For example, the verb to edit has been formed from the noun editor on the reverse analogy of the noun actor from to act, and similarly the verbs automate, bulldoze, commute, escalate, liaise, loaf, sightsee, and televise are backformed from the nouns automation, bulldozer, commuter, escalation, liaison, loafer, sightseer, and television. From the single noun procession are backformed two verbs with different stresses and meanings: procéss, to walk in procession, and prócess, to subject food (and other material) to a special operation.

Blends fall into two groups: (1) coalescences, such as bash from bang and smash; and (2) telescoped forms, called portmanteau words, such as motorcade from motor cavalcade. In the first group are the words clash, from clack and crash, and geep, offspring of goat and sheep. To the second group belong dormobiles, or dormitory automobiles, and slurbs, or slum suburbs. A travel monologue becomes a travelogue and a telegram sent by cable a cablegram. Aviation electronics becomes avionics; biology electronics, bionics; and nuclear electronics, nucleonics. In cablese a question mark is a quark; in computerese a binary unit is a bit. In astrophysics a quasistellar source of radio energy becomes a quasar, and a pulsating star becomes a pulsar.

Simple shortenings, such as ad for advertisement, have risen in status. They are listed in dictionaries side by side with their full forms. Among such fashionable abbreviations are exam, gym, lab, lib, op, spec, sub, tech, veg, and vet. Compound shortenings, after the pattern of Russian agitprop for agitatsiya propaganda, are also becoming fashionable. Initial syllables are joined as in the words Fortran, for formula (computer) translation; mascon, for massive (lunar) concentration; and Tacomsat, for Tactical Communications Satellite.


  1. A Good Mother
  2. Classification of phraseological units and their structural types.
  3. Compare the meanings of the given words. Define what semantic features are shared by all the members of the group and what semantic properties distinguish them from each other.
  4. Figure Types
  5. However Henry Sweet and some other scientists say that these criteria are not characteristic of the majority of such units.
  6. Learn table 17 and revise how to use different types of conditionals
  8. Lesson 30 Types of Combat
  9. Look at this form of a music collection. Label the data types with words from B opposite.
  10. My Mother
  11. Replacements of sentence types

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