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14 Old Abstract Nouns We Need to Bring Back

14 Old Abstract Nouns We Need to Bring Back

English has a few suffixes that can make abstract nouns out of adjectives: There’s the relatively rare –cy, which turns fluent into fluency and idiot into idiocy. The only one that is truly productive, however, able to make a noun out of almost anything in English, is –ness. These –ty coinages have a slangy, modern ring to them, but English speakers have actually been trying to make –ty happen for centuries. There are a number of old abstract nouns in the Oxford English Dictionary that, for whatever reason, and tragically, became obsolete. Here are 14 of them we need to bring back.

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