Subject: backformation
From: Sherri Hall <shall -at- HILCO -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 1994 10:31:00 CST

Beth Vollbach (evollbach -at- logicon -dot- com) writes:

> Why don't I remember hearing the term "back-formate" before today?

Get a copy of an introduction to Linguistics textbook. (I have one at
home, but don't remember the title. The author, though, is Finegan).
You'll find back-formation is just one way new words are created. Other ways
are acronyms, abbreviations, clipping, compound words, melding (like
smoke and fog = smog), etc.

> could anyone send me other
> examples of back-formations? Even if they're words that are useful
> (as I think "televise" and "edit" are), I'd like to know about them.

Ones I can think of off the top of head:

abort (there was not verb until the noun "abortion" came along--
now the verb is used for lots of situations
including aborting procedures in computer programs)

mic (as in microphone)
Sherri Hall, Product Manager-Documentation Email: shall -at- hilco -dot- com
"And unto us a child is born . . . Merry Christmas!"

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