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Back-formations

Chapter:
Correct and Preferred Usage
Author(s):

Roxanne K. Young

Back-formation is the creation of a new word in the mistaken belief that it was the source of an existing word. Many back-formations are verbs, some of them derived from abstract nouns (ambulate from ambulation, diagnose from diagnosis, dialyze from dialysis) and others from agent nouns, real or supposed (beg from beggar, peddle from peddler, scavenge from scavenger). These examples of back-formations have achieved acceptance; however, many of those pertaining to medical jargon have not, including adhese, cyanose, defervesce, diurese, lyse, necrose, pex (from orchidopexy), plege (from cardioplegia), and torse. Medical jargon also includes many deviant singular forms of nouns

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