Friday 20 July 2018

the fix is in

Via an engrossing discussion on the word like gaining the status of a tmesis, from the Greek for “I cut,” as in parsed phrases “fan-f’ing-tastic” or “un-f’ing-believable,” with its premiere as a milder way to express shock and hyperbole—“un-like-sympathetic”—we learn more about the parts of speech categorised as affixes.

An infix, inserted within a word, is a pretty rare occurrence in English outside of chemistry jargon, but some colloquial examples include hizouse and edumacation, affecting an air of sophistication with the superfluous syllable. Another category is the linking element the interfix, like the s or z appearing in many German compound words like Arbeitszimmer (office) or the connecting o of pedometer and odometer.