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Wednesday 7 November 2012

Nuts and Bolts: paragoge.

Paragoge sounds rather sweet, I think, in an ineffectual sort of way.

You say it parraGOHjee.

And what is a paragoge?

It's when the end of a word has been made longer. This may be because it's been borrowed by another language where words with the original ending don't make sense. (For instance Tom, the hero of my book Cold Tom, is sometimes Tomnak in the Hungarian translation, and Tomova in Slovenian.)

Some English words have forms with endings added onto them, even though it doesn't really make them mean anything extra. There's while and whilst, for instance, and among and amongst, and perhap and perhaps.

So there we are. Paragoge.

Sweet, yes: but not terribly effectual.

Thing to use today, perhaps whilst you are amongst friends: paragoge. This word comes from the Greek word paragōgē, and before that from paragein, to lead past or change.


  1. Well, very interesting, but does anyone say PERHAP?? Perhaps they do and I'm missing out. I think I'll start saying it myself!

  2. It'd be fun, but rather dangerous, perhap: one might easily come over as quaint - or, even worse, pompous.

    Hey, though, why not live dangerously? It's not going to break a leg!


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