Prefixes/Suffixes: Noun suffixes

December 6, 2007: Issue 216

A suffix can change a noun to an adjective. Function becomes functional, for instance. Instinct becomesinstinctive.

To take the word back to its noun form, delete the suffix. Don’t just tack another one on.

incorrect: Built-in storage packs a room with functionality.
correct: Built-in storage packs a room with function.

incorrect: Her instinctiveness told her something was wrong.
correct: Her instinct told her something was wrong.

Next week: More suffix pileups to avoid.

Back to Style on the Go Archive
Back to BHG Stylebook Table of Contents