The Origins Of The World

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Every word has an origin. Some are only newly minted, having been brought into use, usually, by the younger generation. These often have their origins in an existing word as a shortening or pidgin form with a slightly or, occasionally, even wholly altered meaning. Some are ancient and can trace their roots back practically to the dawn of man. Many have their origins in a language other than English having originated, perhaps, in France, Germany, Egypt, Rome, or even in the Nordic tradition to name but a few possibilities. According to the writers of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, over one hundred and twenty languages have been used to form the words we use today. Also, according to these same authors, these words can be formed by any one or a combination of several methods. Sometimes words are formed by what is known as “clipping.” This occurs when the front or back part of a word is “clipped off” to form a new word with the same meaning, such as “exam” from “examination.” Other times the word is created by “back-formation,” where the prefix or suffix has been removed to form a new word. “Cherry” from the original word “cherise” would be an example of this. The most common method of creating new word is from bits of other, older words, prefixes, suffixes and roots combined together in differing ways to create new words. An example of this would be “brunch” having been formed from “breakfast” and “lunch.” Merriam-Webster names acronym formations as the most pleasing to the

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