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I noticed some words that "er-less-ness" can be added to. like "prayerlessness" or "thinkerlessness".

Is there a rule that regulate the usage?

closed as off-topic by Hot Licks, Cascabel, Mari-Lou A, Jason Bassford, Janus Bahs Jacquet May 12 at 12:30

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    The "-er" in "prayer" is not a suffix in the conventional sense. "Thinkerlessness" isn't a word. – Hot Licks May 12 at 2:22
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"-less" and "-ness" are both suffixes. A Suffix can be attached to the end of a word to modify it.


"-less" at the end of a word means "without".

Example:

Fearless-- "My dog is not afraid of anything. He is fearless."

Thankless - "She works hard but never receives praise. Her job is thankless."


"-ness" at the end of a word refers to a quality or state of being.

Example:

Weakness - The baby goat could not stand on his own yet, so his mother compensated for his weakness.

Darkness - He was unable to see anything without any light. He was surrounded by darkness.


Suffixes can also be combined. To use one of your examples, thoughtlessness would refer to the state of being without thought.

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    So you have no problem with "thinkerlessness"? – Cascabel May 12 at 2:34
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    @Cascabel: I suggested thoughtlessness in my answer. I agree that thinkerlessness is not a word in usage. I was able to deduce that OP is trying to ask how to use suffixes, and felt it better to provide helpful information instead of picking apart errors in the question itself. – Nmath May 12 at 4:05
  • I understand what you are trying to do, but it should not be necessary to deduce what the OP has in mind. The question should be clear and show some research before posting. We use the comment section of the Q to invite OPs to clarify what they have in mind. – Cascabel May 12 at 4:36
  • "To use one of your examples, thoughtlessness would refer to the state of being without thought." That would not mean the same thing as thinkerlessness. Assuming it were a word, I would take it to mean "something that has a quality leading it to have nobody who thinks about it." (So, this question does not possess thinkerlessness—but a 50,000-word book on how to watch paint dry probably would.) It would contrast with thinkerless, meaning something about which nobody is currently thinking . . . – Jason Bassford May 12 at 8:42

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