A Piece of Information from Facebook

From one of the Facebook friends is an interesting piece of information on writing and I am quoting it in its entirety for educational purposes.

Twenty-First Street Urban Editing

Daily Writing Tips – Quote vs. Quotation, Invite vs. Invitation
One of my college professors insisted that quote is a verb and quotation is a noun and never the twain shall meet. For example, a writer quotes from an author, but the quoted material is a quotation, never “a quote.” Although I still observe the distinction in my own writing, I have become aware that both the OED and Merriam-Webster recognize the use of quote as a noun. Most English words ending in -tion have French cognates, for example: information, confirmation, and position. Such words came into English in the Middle Ages from French. In M.E. the ending of these French borrowings was spelled -cioun; later the ending came to be spelled -tion in both languages. Through the centuries, many -tion words have lost their endings, and more are in the process of doing so. English words ending in -tion tend to lose the suffix when the first part of the word retains the word’s meaning without it. Here are some shortened -tion nouns that have become accepted into standard English: quote from quotation ID or I.D. from identification insert from insertion Here are some that the OED still labels colloquial or slang: invite from invitation info from information admin from administration prep from preparation promo from promotion (in the sense of publicity) ammo from ammunition NOTE: M-W does not agree with OED on all of the shortened -tion words. For example, while M-W labels the noun invite “chiefly dialectal,” it admits ammo as a standard word. OED does not have an entry for specs with the meaning specifications, but M-W has. Many speakers cringe when they hear or read invite used as a noun, but the tendency to drop -tion when the rest of the word is sufficiently meaningful without it, is strong in English. I may not like hearing invite used as a noun, but enough speakers use it that way for it to make a comeback. Yes, comeback: 1659 H. L’Estrange Alliance Divine Offices 326 Bishop Cranmer..gives him an…

So this is always good to know for trivia and also when writing. In some areas it may matter. Stay tuned for some more from my Facebook friends.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s