Haplography

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Haplography (from Greek: haplo- 'single' + -graphy 'writing') is the act of writing once what should be written twice. For example, the English word idolatry, the worship of idols, comes from the Greek eidololatreia, but one syllable has been lost through haplography. Other examples are "endontics" for endodontics, and "voraphilia" for "vorarephilia".

There are various instances of conventionalized haplography in English. For example, the normal punctuation mark for a declarative sentence in English is a period. However, if a declarative sentence ends with a word that is abbreviated with a period (etc., Ltd., or Inc.), the sentence-final punctuation mark is omitted. This is clear by comparison with other sentence types, such as interrogative or exclamatory sentences, where the punctuation is not reduced at the end.

  • Philip K. Dick wrote the novel Lies, Inc.

And then...

  • Who wrote the novel Lies, Inc.?
  • So, it was Philip K. Dick who wrote the novel Lies, Inc.!

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