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As I was reading this article, I came across the word "undersize" being used three separate times as an adjective. I was confused, as I don't think I've ever seen that word used that way before (or at all). A couple of days later, I read another article written by a different author that used the same word in the same capacity. What gives? Why not just use "undersized"? Is "undersize" even an actual adjective?

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    The final /d/ been reduced, which is the fate of predictable final stops, especially before words beginning with consonants, which is almost all words. So undersized fish contains an internal /df/ cluster (spaces between words exist only in writing, not in speech), which is very hard to pronounce, and gets simplified instantly to /f/, producing undersize fish, which is what people hear, and theforefore write. Yes, it is an actual adjective, and a noun, and a verb. In the right circumstances. – John Lawler Apr 11 '15 at 18:10
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    It drives me crazy too, sometimes, but it seems to be inevitable. "Iced tea" is hanging on by the skin of its teeth. – Oldbag Apr 11 '15 at 19:41
  • @JohnLawler "He is undersize" is written in the first article without any words after it, so what would be the reasoning for that? Might it be just for consistency's sake? – hov Apr 11 '15 at 20:36
  • He's not oversize, he's not normal size, he's undersize. What's the problem here? – John Lawler Apr 11 '15 at 20:37
  • I suppose nothing, but oversize/undersize just seem off to me, and I would use "normal-sized" over "normal size" every time. – hov Apr 11 '15 at 20:43
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According to oxford, both undersized and undersize are used. Same for oversized/oversize

It's not that unusual to use undersize if you think about it. We don't think of similar adjectives like overweight to be weird.

  • This is genref; correctly answering 'Where did the d go?' would make it an acceptable answer. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 11 '15 at 20:23

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