October 4: who killed the suffix?

There is aversion to the suffix. We like to clean a word of all superfluity, streamline it, have it look like the dynamic verb. There is a disconnect; not a disconnection. Constructors are engaged on a build. We no longer witness a revelation, but a reveal. And writers no longer work on a new version of script, they work on a rewrite. These are all verbs masquerading as nouns. The -tion, along with many another suffix, is yesterday’s news.

The prefix works better. That lovely, surprising and classic translation of Freud’s Das Unbehagen in der Kultur (The Uneasiness in Culture) as Civilization and its Discontents gives us a terrific prefix. Discontents is a winner. Really clever. The suffix is dead! Long live the prefix!


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