Brief mention: telescoping

In my collection of linguistic errors (from both speech and writing) there are some of the telescoping, or “jump ahead” variety. Recently, in writing about young men judged to be twinkalicious / twinkilicious / etc., I was especially afflicted by this sort of error, in typing and in handwritten text. The sequence LI CI kept tempting me towards jumping ahead from the L to the I following the C, thus telescoping the sequence to LI and giving twinkalious etc. Very annoying.

Then there’s telescoping as an inadvertent error in speech — for instance, in two instances of Barack Obama inadvertently telescoped to Barama (and then corrected), as reported in this posting.

(Telescoped portmanteaus are also frequently committed intentionally, as in verminfestation ‘vermin infestation’ and teenius ‘teen genius’, reported in this posting.)

2 Responses to “Brief mention: telescoping”

  1. Holidays and occasions | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] the word Commencement, skipping from the first E to the third, producing Commencent. See my recent posting on telescoping […]

  2. Mark A. Mandel Says:


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