Blending is an inventive way to form new words. It is done either by combining sounds or meanings of two words. This is how smog came into existence – smoke + fog. Below I give some other notoriously known examples:
brunch – breakfast + lunch
emoticon – emotion + icon
freeware – free + software
infotainment – information + entertainment
Internet – inter- + network
Microsoft – microcomputer + software
malware – malicious + software
moped – motor + pedal
motel – motor + hotel
sitcom – situation + comedy
A nice instance of blending cropped up in one of my classes couple of weeks ago.
Our conversation went like this:
Teacher (me): … so I understand that you’ve been together for quite some time now.
Student: Oh, yes. I met my husband when I was twenteen.
T: (stifled smile) … you mean twelve or twenty or … ?
T: ‘Cos you said … “twenteen”.
T, S: (both laughing)
That was one of the cutest blended words I’d heard in a long time. When you think about it, though, it makes sense. I dare to say that majority of early twenty-year-olds refuse to lead the life of an adult and embrace the responsibilities it brings. Although you are twenty-something, you still (can) feel and live like a teenager. It’s great to be twenteen.
crop up – objaviť sa nečakane (problém alebo téme v rozhovore)
stifled smile – potlačaný úsmev
embrace – objať v náručí, prijať (myšlienku, …)
embrace the responsibilities – prijať zodpovednosť