Language Nerd

Not to go all sentence fragment on you. Via XKCD.

I love stuff like this. Isn’t language so cool? In just the past few years, we’ve added friend, unlike, squee, and a number of other new verbs to the dictionary. We’ve added an incredible number of nouns, including “emoji,” “FOMO” (an acronym for “fear of missing out”), and “phablet” (a smartphone—yet another new word recently added to the dictionary—with a large screen intermediately sized between a phone and a tablet).

Lots of words are formed by using one part of speech as another, like in the above cartoon. Fun fact: the verb to edit was coined after the word editor in a phenomenon called “back formation,” which is the formation of a word by the removal of an affix. (Most words are formed by addition of an affix.) The noun editor already existed, but there was a need in English for a verb describing what an editor does. Thus, to edit. SO COOL, right??

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  1. Pingback: Time for Some Comfort Food (+ Language Nerdery!) | Ben Y. Faroe

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