Are we getting faster, lazier, or just more annoying?
Can We Please Not Do The “Merch” Thing?
Morphology, also known in the linguistic realm as clipping or truncating, is the process of forming a new word through the reduction of a longer word like favorite to fave, delicious to delish, and obvious to obvi.
Of all the examples above, all of them annoy me.
I don’t like the sound of these words — if you could even call them words.
Sounding like a mix between Valley Girls or Clueless and privileged middle-class trend following lemmings, “merch” the shorter form of merchandise, is the latest downsized word making its way into the mainstream.
Dictionary.com considers it an informal noun. So it’s already recognized.
Compared to its longer form version, it carries a more specific definition which is: merchandise, especially as marketed to a particular fan base.
I keep hearing it tossed around and I don’t want it to take.
If it does, it would be another staple on the exposed hole of the torn American tapestry.
Mom Is A Shortened Form Of Mother
My mother does the shortening thing with store names. It’s annoying.
Bed Bath & Beyond is just Bed. Sometimes it’s Bed & Bath with no Beyond.
Home Depot is just Depot but her pronunciation is with the short “e” sound along with pronouncing the “t” which does make sense but is a digression and gives her more credibility and me less for bringing it up.
There’s one more digression concerning my mother’s knack for reinventing store names I feel like I have to get off my chest.
She adds an “s” when she says Walmart turning it into Walmarts which sounds a bit trashy to me.
But I’m shedding more light on the strained relationship I have with my mother than I am supporting the thesis of this article.
Not my intention.
I may also be trying to equate her to the population at large in some way as a form of my disconnect from childhood anger issues and as a partial witch hunt.
Now I don’t want this to sound like a rant because rants tend to reduce articles’ efficacy.
Again, not my intention.
My intention is to eradicate “merch” before it spreads amongst its people.
I don’t want to sound like a total hater either.
I do like some shortened forms of words such as limo, lab, and ID, all truncated from their original forms. These words make sense to me.
Of the two, limousine is a little harder to spell than merchandise. Both have three syllables but limo sounds much cooler than “merch”.
Lab makes scientifical sense in all kinds of ways that I won’t get into.
I admit ID is a lazier form but if it gets us through the filling of forms and out of the DMV faster to use the abbreviation then I’m all for it.
These words do more than look for a shortcut to speaking. They advance us as a language.
But “merch”, I’m just not feeling it.