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I've noticed a trend developing over the past few years where gerunds are being emasculated (cutting off their "ing-alings" by golly!!!)

  • On my credit card's website: "spend analysis"
  • All over the web: "compute resources"
  • In American football: "run game"
  • In the Colorado Driver Handbook: "drive test"

Who started this trend, and why?

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    Oh, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ing! doo wah doo wah doo wah doo wah
    – Jeff
    Aug 23, 2018 at 19:45
  • Damn, I just realised my state calls it the "drive test" too. And I'm not in the US. The state above me still calls it "driving test." This is weird.
    – Zebrafish
    Aug 23, 2018 at 19:57
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    It's been happening to English suffixes for the last 500 years or so. Zero-affix morphology is the normal English way; think un-suffixed noun compounds like Sierra Rim Canyon County School Board Room. Compare to Spanish or French, which would have lots of de's and la's. Many compounds that previously required -ing forms no longer do; that's all. This kind of stuff happens all the time. Aug 23, 2018 at 20:01
  • Certainly in web pages and even more so on the dreaded PowerPoint slide, contraction like this is done to save space and/or to permit characters of larger size and therefore easier readability. But I doubt that was the trigger for the general trend.
    – Charl E
    Aug 23, 2018 at 20:57
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    You aren't going to be able to trace this to one person and understand their motivation. You might get better answers just asking for the history of it? Aug 23, 2018 at 22:15

1 Answer 1

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In a comment, John Lawler wrote:

It's been happening to English suffixes for the last 500 years or so. Zero-affix morphology is the normal English way; think un-suffixed noun compounds like Sierra Rim Canyon County School Board Room. Compare to Spanish or French, which would have lots of de's and la's. Many compounds that previously required -ing forms no longer do; that's all. This kind of stuff happens all the time.

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