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I'm currently reading Entrepreneur Magazine, and there is a story profiling a 13-year-old who created a series of stickers to embellish Lego blocks. The subtitle of the story reads

A pint-size 'trep solves a sticky toy dilemma

This doesn't seem right to me. Since 'trep is a contraction of entrepreneur, and the word is losing en- from the left side and -reneur from the right. Wouldn't the correct subtitle read

A pint-size 'trep' solves a sticky toy dilemma

Yes, it looks awful, but wouldn't it be technically correct?

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closed as too localized by FumbleFingers, MετάEd, tchrist, Mahnax, kiamlaluno Sep 4 '12 at 0:09

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It's related, but it's certainly not the same question. That question is asking for examples of double apostrophe usage for a specific word. This is a grammatical, orthographic question related to any word you could want to contract from both ends. –  Nick Anderegg Aug 18 '12 at 20:18
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Can we at least agree that "trep" is a horrifying and wholly unnecessary contraction and that the author of this article should have their fingers 'oppe' off? –  Dancrumb Aug 18 '12 at 21:21
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I 'econ' 'at 'otion. –  Nick Anderegg Aug 18 '12 at 21:26
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@Dancrumb I'd never use it, it is horrifying and wholly unnecessary - but as a matter of professional solidarity I would never deny an author the right to pander to his audience. –  StoneyB Aug 19 '12 at 0:30

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Trep may not be a contraction at all but a clipping.

In linguistics, clipping is the word formation process which consists in the reduction of a word to one of its parts (Marchand: 1969). Clipping is also known as "truncation" or "shortening."

Trep would be an example of Middle clipping: similar to flu (influenza), jams (pajamas) etc. and as such probably doesn't require any apostrophes.

There is also back clipping: ad (advertisement), cable (cablegram), doc (doctor), exam (examination), fax (facsimile), gas (gasoline), gym (gymnastics, gymnasium), memo (memorandum), mutt (muttonhead), pub (public house), pop (popular music).

And fore-clipping: chute (parachute), coon (raccoon), gator (alligator), phone (telephone), pike (turnpike), varsity (university)

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'Fore-clipping' irresistibly suggests circumcision. –  StoneyB Aug 19 '12 at 0:27
    
@StoneyB- I hope you don't live here –  Jim Aug 19 '12 at 0:31
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That's a fair thought . . . –  StoneyB Aug 19 '12 at 0:34
    
... and classic examples of the clipping approach are 'mike' and 'jelly'! –  Xavier Hernández Balcázar Aug 19 '12 at 3:34

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