Shortening is a comparatively new way of word-building. Nowadays it has achieved a high degree of productivity especially in American English. Shortenings (contracted words) are produced in two ways.
I. Some words lose their beginnings or their ends and new words appear.
Sometimes a word can lose both its beginning and its ending.
II. A new word is formed from the initial letters of a word group. These are called abbreviations.
the United Nations the -> UN
the British Broadcasting Corporation the -> BBC
member of Parliament) -> MP
personal computer -> PC
Both types of shortenings are characteristic of informal speech though abbreviations are found among formal words, too.
30 A Look at the pictures on p. 170 and match them with the things that Alice mentions.
a) — Mum, where are my PJs? — I’ve put them in the wash. Take your clean nightie, please.
b) Fancy! They have given me new brown wellies and a wonderful woollen cardie for my birthday.
c) Have you bought any veggies?
d) I see neither tatties nor caulie in the kitchen.
e) I’m rather hungry. I can do with a butty.
f) John is so fond of playing footie he can do it all day long.
g) Where are the biscies? I would like to have some with milk.
h) The vac is in the bedroom, I am going to clean it.
i) I’ve lost my lippy. Can’t find it anywhere.
B Make up a word list of abbreviations and shortenings that you know.