1 February 2014

What is Clipping?

Clipping refers to the reduction of a polysyllabic word by dropping a syllable or more from it. Clipping is also called truncation or shortening.

In other words Clipping is one of the ways new words are created in English. It involves the shortening of a longer word, often reducing it to one syllable. Many examples are very informal or slang.
  •          spec = speculation
  •          vet = veteran

Types of clipping
There are four types of clipping:
The four types of clipping are back clipping, fore-clipping, middle clipping, and complex clipping.

Back clipping
Back clipping is removing the end of a word as in gas from gasoline.In this type the beginning is retained. Examples:
·         ad = advertisement
·         cable = cablegram
·         doc = doctor
·         exam = examination
·         fax = facsimile
·         gas = gasoline
·         gym = gymnastics, gymnasium
·         memo = memorandum
·         pub = public house
·         pop = popular music

Fore-clipping is removing the beginning of a word as in gator from alligator. The final part is retained:
·         chute = parachute
·         coon = raccoon
·         gator = alligator
·         phone = telephone

Middle clipping
Middle clipping is retaining only the middle of a word as in flu from influenza. The middle part is retained.
·         flu = influenza
·         fridge = refrigerator

Complex clipping
Complex clipping is removing multiple parts from multiple words as in sitcom from situation comedy. Clipping may also occur in compounds. In complex clipping, one part of the original compound most often remains intact. But sometimes both halves of a compound are clipped:
·         cablegram= cable telegram
·         op art = optical art
·         org-man= organization man
·         linocut = linoleum cut
·         navicert = navigation certificate
When both halves are clipped, as in navicert, it becomes confusing whether to consider the resultant formation as clippingor as blending.

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