I am aware that "apps" is commonly used as a plural form of "app" in this time and age, which in itself is an abbreviation of "application". But if I assume that "apps" is actually formed from "application software" in a given text, would that technically make it a concatenation? Would it not have to be "applicationsoftware" to qualify as a concatenation? If it's not a concatenation, then what is "apps" in this type of usage? Yet another abbreviation? Would it not have to be "app.s." to qualify as an abbreviation?

usage 1:
singular: app (application) plural: apps (applications)

usage 2:
singular: apps (application software) plural: apps (application software)

In some languages "software" has a plural form of "softwares" (languages that loan this word from English). But this is not standard in English. I have therefore not used it above.

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    I've never seen "apps" used to mean "application software". If you use it to mean that, no one will know what you mean. – Hot Licks Aug 21 '15 at 21:05
  • I have never heard of apps being formed from "application software" – Jim Aug 21 '15 at 21:11
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    @HotLicks No, it does not matter. Nothing ever really does. The Sun will still rise the next morning. I am only curious. So if anything, it matters for my understanding of the world around me and the use of the English language. – Samir Aug 21 '15 at 21:43
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    Understand that things like "abbreviation" and "concatenation" are simply terms invented by the wordies into which they attempt to stuff parts of the language. Very often these parts don't fit. – Hot Licks Aug 21 '15 at 21:45
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    I've never even heard of "concatenation" being used as a technical term for this supposed linguistic phenomenon. I think "concatenation" is used as a technical term in computer science. – herisson Aug 21 '15 at 22:23

If I am to be the judge, I would say that it's both a concatenation and an abbreviation.

full form:     application software
concatenation: applicationsoftware
abbreviation:  apps.
abbreviation:  apps

There is a term called "contraction" that's used when the middle part of a single word is dropped. But unless you consider the space to be a character (letter) with meaning, like a string literal in a programming language, I don't think "contraction" will fit here. So I would call this a concatenation, which is then abbreviated to "apps", with the full stop (point) dropped in its final form.

  • I would just say, that no matter what you want to call it, I suggest that you do not use apps as a shortened form for application software. It isn't standard and won't be recognized. And even if you were to write a paper in which the term was used and explained, it would not catch on with the rest of the software industry. – Jim Aug 22 '15 at 22:09

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