Robert Devereux


The English lexicon has attained its present size, at least in part, by the creation of new words based on existing ones. In large measure this has involved the addition of prefixes and suffixes to existing words to create new ones having new meanings or nuances, but subtractive ways of using existing words to create new ones have also been used. Three closely-related types of such words - shortenings, blends and acronyms - are discussed below; in all three, a new word is created by taking letters in order from the original word or words.