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haplology

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noun hap·lol·o·gy \ha-ˈplä-lə-jē\

Definition of haplology

  1. :  contraction of a word by omission of one or more similar sounds or syllables (as in mineralogy for hypothetical mineralology or \ˈprä-blē\ for probably)



Did You Know?

Try to say "pierced-ear earrings" three times fast. That exercise will demonstrate why haplology happens: sometimes it's just easier to drop a syllable and leave yourself with something that's easier to say (such as "pierced earrings"). American philologist Maurice Bloomfield recognized the tendency to drop one of a pair of similar syllables a little over a hundred years ago. He has been credited with joining the combining form "hapl-" or "haplo-" (meaning "single") with "-logy" (meaning "oral or written expression") to create "haplology" as a name for the phenomenon. Haplology is quite common in English, and often the contracted forms it generates spread into the written language. In fact, haplology played a role in naming the nation that is the cradle of English: "England" was condensed via haplology from "Engla land."

1895

First Known Use of haplology

1895


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