Declare - declaration. Proclaim - proclamation. Why isn't compare - comparation? For the 3 years that i've been studying the language intensively i've been always intuitively reading "comparison" as "comparsion", thus pronouncing it like "compartion" (sort of short of "proper" "comparation"). Today i found out that it is actually "comparison". That's the weirdest thing that's happened to me since i started learning English. Why is it such a weird word? It sounds so French. Can you give any other examples of similar noun formation?

From the web: "Definition of "ison" [ison] A suffix, really -son, with an element (-i-) belonging to the stem in some nouns coming from Latin through the Old French. It is equivalent to -ation, -etion, -ition, in nouns originally abstract. Examples are comparison, fermison, garrison, jettison, orison, venison, warnison."

But i don't really know any of these words, they all seem to be loanwords, while "comparison" is ("from Old French comparesoun, from Latin comparatio(n- ), from comparare ‘to pair, match’") initially originated from Latin. So "comparation" or "compartion" would be a word more suitable for the English, would it be not?

Just a discussion, not trying to prove anything. Would appreciate if someone points out any mistakes i have in the question body :)

1 Answer 1


I think you've answered your own question. The etymology of comparison travels through Old French. The -tion words you mentioned have not.

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