Questions tagged [word-formation]

For questions about how new words are created.

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1answer
29 views

“Berning out”, “BolsoNero” - What do you call the phenomenon of coining such words? [closed]

I'm writing my thesis on blend neologisms in The Economist (splinter/portmanteau/telescopic words, contaminants, frankenwords - whatever you may call them). Blending process happens when: 2 or more ...
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2answers
193 views

Is combustant a word?

I am trying to pin down the definition of the word combustant, but I can't seem to find anything. Almost all dictionaries are giving me the definition for combustion. If I search with a strict filter, ...
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1answer
61 views

Why does “lineage” retain the “e” when the suffix “-age” is added?

"Lineage" (/ˈlɪn·i·ɪdʒ/) is equivalent to "line" + "-age". Other such nouns lose the "e" when this suffix is added: Stem + Suffix = Noun Anecdote + Age = ...
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0answers
32 views

Sentence structure and form

Is this sentence grammatically correct? "The great sea creature came alongside Lotty and nudged him, so he climbed on board its strong back. I don't get what sentence structure the second part ...
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0answers
43 views

Word for an all seeing society/government type

I'm looking for a word to mean a society or government type where everything is visible or known to everyone, similar to omniscient. For example, if everyone (including government) can see everything ...
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2answers
1k views

Is it “five hundred thousand” or “five hundred thousands”? [closed]

I googled "500,000 in English" then I got five hundred thousand. I wonder, if we say...five dogs then why five hundred thousand? Actually, in my view, it should've been called as: five ...
2
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1answer
58 views

Which is the correct use of 'people' vs 'peoples'? [closed]

Which grammar is correct to ask? Which people was Utah named for? Or is it this... Which peoples was Utah named for? The answer being "Utes", is it correct to use "people" or &...
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20 views

“move unassisted”

As far as I know, "move" is a Verb, "unassisted" is an adjective, and a verb is modified by an adverb. So could you please help me to explain this following sentence, which is from the Oxford ...
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0answers
25 views

Never in my life have I been more curious to learn something than this course. Is this sentence correct?

I was wondering if the following sentence was grammatically correct or not. Never in my life have I been more curious to learn something than this course.
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1answer
234 views

Why word “weighten” aren't actually a valid word?

There's bunch of words with -en form of word like height-heighten, bright-brighten and others, but weight-weighten aren't valid pair. Is there any reasons, why is it like that? Is there any rule for ...
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2answers
68 views

To request “signed photographs” vs “signing photographs”

I was doing a Cambridge English Advanced, Use of English, Part 3 task today, when I came across the following sentence: Though fans continued to hound her with requests for SIGN photographs seven ...
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1answer
43 views

What does the formation of putting words an idea or feeling given here mean?

Here's the conversation I was having with a guy: So, in this context, f I drill down, from my perspective, they may not mean anything together. Can you please help me figure out what his expression ...
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1answer
89 views

In the sentence who is saying “that's your business,isn't it ,cousin”

Laila remembered another fight, and, that time, Mammy had stood over Babi and said in a mincing way,That's your business, isn't it, cousin? To make nothing your business. Even your own sons going to ...
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0answers
35 views

Why is it Orthodontics but Pedodontia?

Similarly we also have words like Periodontia and Exodontia and Endodontia (and Endodontics too apparently) and for many of them, I just can not find which one is correct?
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2answers
116 views

Why is it Endodontic (-ic suffix) but Dental (-al suffix)?

Especially when they both derive from Endodontist and Dentist respectively, so context doesn't vary much. I found many answers on the web explaining that -ic and -ical suffixes don't follow any rule ...
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1answer
153 views

dogfight vs. dog fighting

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a dogfight means: 1 : a fight between dogs broadly : a fiercely disputed contest 2 : a fight between two or more fighter planes usually at close quarters ...
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0answers
118 views

What's the correct word to refer to a believer of scientism? [duplicate]

Scientism is, roughly speaking, the belief that the only legitimate knowledge is scientific knowledge and all other sources of knowledge - like religion - should be rejected. If it is still unlcear, ...
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0answers
42 views

What is the function of 'a-' in the phrase 'cocks a-crow' [duplicate]

This is a beginning of W.B.Yeats's poem Under Ben Bulben: Swear by what the Sages spoke Round the Mareotic Lake That the Witch of Atlas knew, Spoke and set the cocks a-crow. What is the ...
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3answers
301 views

What are the higher variations of 'couple'? [closed]

If a couple is a pair or a group of two, what does one call a group of three, four, etc.?
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1answer
1k views

Word Formation: Noun Suffixes and their Spelling and Stress Shift Rules

I've been having a real hard time trying to gather information about word formation in English, more specifically about the rules involving suffixes that turn verbs and adjectives into nouns. But not ...
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1answer
118 views

Open-ended concepts in Chinese usually be alluded by listing specific examples. Would native English speakers find it hard to grasp the connotation?

In Chinese and Vietnamese sometimes a word is made up by listing its examples. For example, "table-chair" means furniture, "month-year" means time, "land-water" means country, "spring-summer-fall-...
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1answer
86 views

Words that can be decomposed entirely into parts which are anagrams of each other [closed]

I recently noticed that teammate is composed of two anagrams, and was wondering if anyone had any other examples of this, or even better, a name for this phenomenon?
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1answer
178 views

How is “burial” incorrectly formed?

OED says that: Middle English buryel, biriel, incorrectly formed as a singular of byriels, buriels n., q.v.; in later times associated with nouns in -al from French, such as espousal-s. Etymonline....
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1answer
80k views

Email - We will discuss about this during/in our meeting scheduled on Monday? [closed]

I am responding to an email where i want inform the person who asked some question saying we will discuss about this during Mondays meeting. I am not sure which is the correct way of framing this ...
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1answer
979 views

Word form of “lie” in this sentence? [closed]

I have this sentence The _____ strength of this novel is the author's life experience And it needs a word form of lie to fill in the gap. At first, I think it's lying but it sounds weird to me.
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3answers
29k views

Which word is correct in this sentence? (signing/signature)

Consider the following: The financial industry got its (22) ________ (office) start on Wall Street on May 17, 1792. On that day, New York's first stock exchange was established by the (23) ________ ...
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1answer
236 views

Do you usually divide words into elements?

English sounds sound complex for me as a non-native speaker, because of vowel reduction. English vowels in words can take a wide range of form in natural speech due to vowel reduction and whether you ...
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1answer
472 views

Why does English have so few “obscene” roots, compared to Russian? [closed]

Russian has 4 obscene roots ('-еб-', '-хуй-', '-пизд-', '-бляд-') and a huge variety of options in order to create new words: 'ебать', 'ёбаный', 'уебать', 'заебать', 'подъебать', 'ебантяй', 'уёбок'...
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4answers
770 views

One word for an ability that is self-destructive

I am looking for one word to describe an ability that does more harm than good to the one having the ability. For example, an artist who has so much to express that it drives him mad. Or a scientist ...
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2answers
112 views

Why 'nervOUS', but 'mentAL'? [closed]

Why not to use one suffix for both stems? Like 'nervAL'/'mentAL' or 'nervOUS'/'mentOUS'. Thanks for your answer
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1answer
1k views

Are there rules for forming adjectives from names? [duplicate]

I may not be using the right terms for what I'm asking, but for example, "Cartesian" is an adjective derived from Descartes' name, and "Dickensian" is an adjective derived from Charles Dickens' name, ...
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1answer
7k views

Is “Five dollars is all I have” correct?

I want to emphasize that I only have 5 dollars, so can I use the sentence: Five dollars is all I have. Or must it be: Five dollars are all I have. Please give the explanation as well.
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1answer
104 views

Can I split the word “being” with a “-” (hyphen)?

In the following sentence I want to use the word "being". I was told that my use of the word "being" is confusing or unclear. Can I write "being" as "be-ing"? Is that even an acceptable way to write ...
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1answer
236 views

What English words have unique prevocalic forms?

The indefinite article a becomes an when it precedes a word beginning with a vowel sound. Similar conventions can be found in thy → thine and the now-archaic my → mine. Aside from these three ...
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1answer
4k views

“Lip-sync” or “Lip-synch”?

What is the correct spelling of the expression "lip sync[h]," which refers to miming singing over a recording--usually in a public performance and with the intention to mislead? Google has ...
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2answers
1k views

Question that is a no-brainer

I need a phrase which has a meaning of a question that is very easy to answer and requires very little thought. I think it might have something to do with word no-brainer. I don't know if a no-...
41
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1answer
8k views

Etymology of Butterfly

Does the word butterfly derive from transposition of word order, i.e., "flutter by"? Several dictionaries that I looked this up in so long ago that I've forgotten which ones, said either "origin ...
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1answer
948 views

What do you call people who live 6 months in city(urban area ), then travel to the village(rural area) and live 6 months. And they do this constantly

I have found the words 'commuter' and 'Itinerant' but they don't really describe what I mean. I made up the word 'biland','bilanded' means people who have two land to live on. What do you say? Is it ...
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2answers
1k views

Word for something being a misnomer - “misnomerous”? “misnomatic”? [closed]

What is the word used to describe something as being a misnomer?
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0answers
336 views

Words ending in -cial/tial [duplicate]

Can anyone please highlight the process behind the formation of words ending in -cial/-tial? For instance, finance is the root for financial but, different is the root for differential substance is ...
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1answer
558 views

Usage of the phrase “in itself” in this specific context?

"The watching in itself of this video put my brain in a bit of a knot." If I want to use the term "in itself", is this the correct way to format a sentence, if I want to put emphasis on the "...
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2answers
896 views

Squeegee with a squeegee

Squeegee is: a scraping implement, usually consisting of a straight-edged blade of india-rubber, gutta-percha, or the like, attached to the end of a long handle, for removing water, mud, etc. [OED] ...
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3answers
8k views

Diminutive forms in English.

In many languages, formation of diminutives by adding suffixes is a productive part of the language. Many languages apply a grammatical diminutive to nouns, a few—including Dutch, Italian and Russian ...
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2answers
602 views

Word-formation process - which one?

I would like to ask if anyone knows what word-formation process takes place when we join two separate words (for instance 360 + flip) and create a word '360 flip' written separately, but used as a ...
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2answers
1k views

Usage of the “non” word when describing something which does not belong to a project (or any organizational group)

The dictionary contains many words which start with "non", e.g. non-acceptance or nonacceptance (with a hyphen and without it). I tried to find out if I can build a new word by using the word "non" ...
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2answers
380 views

Is “testes” an inflectional reduplication?

I was supposed to ask this question 1 year ago and it is based on a discussion in this question that I answered: What is a word called that consists of a repetition of one word? I gave testes as an ...
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2answers
823 views

Morphological analysis of the formation of unhappier

I am an English student from Austria and have a question concerning morphology. In the reading I did for one of my introductory courses on linguistics there was a chapter on the analysis of word-...
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1answer
3k views

What's the noun based on the adverb 'deliberately'?

If I do something with a great sense of purpose, if I do it extremely... intentionally and deliberately. I do it with... deliberalcy? Deliberacy? My searches have returned nothing.
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1answer
791 views

Creating new words [closed]

A student told me a speaker came to his company and was very interesting. This came up in the context of his preparation for a presentation about his company. In looking at the material the speaker ...
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1answer
227 views

Why doesn’t autocorrect software like “unauthorises”? [closed]

I was writing some documentation and trying to write a sentence that ran like this: It then unauthorises the transaction. I soon realised this wasn't a word, and it kept correcting this to ...