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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?

closed as primarily opinion-based by AmE speaker, Skooba, tchrist Aug 31 '18 at 2:16

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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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 '18 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 '18 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. – John Lawler Aug 23 '18 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 '18 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? – Azor Ahai Aug 23 '18 at 22:15
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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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