Definition of haplology
: 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)
haplology was our Word of the Day on 10/03/2015. Hear the podcast!
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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."
First Known Use of haplology
Seen and Heard
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