Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Young children are metaplastic word generating machines. How do they do it?

This word was coined by one of Margaret Drew's daughters. "She couldn't quite get her tongue around 'tomorrow morning,'" explains Margaret. "So when I put her to bed at night, she'd say, 'see you toomorning' - much easier to say and I've never forgotten it (though that was almost 40 years ago)."

This metaplastic word is interesting as a forensic signpost that shows the trend towards the creation of new words through contraction, i.e. good night becomes g'night. Now, 40 years later we see some of the most extreme examples with Instant Messaging abbreviations becoming words, i.e. lol, fwiw, brb. (Originally posted October 9, 2003)

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