German compounding

The extent to which German grammatical constructions can resemble a mathematical formula is particuarly well demonstrated, I think, by the following compound: “Energieversorgungs-, -handels- und -dienstleistungsunternehmen”

The suspended lexeme “-handels-” in the middle of the sentence is the really interesting thing here.

2 thoughts on “German compounding”

  1. I am sure the plain, softspoken English hypen is quite envious of the amazing powers his German cousin has been known to display on occasions like this one. It should find some consolation in the fact that some misguided fools consider this elliptic hyphenated construction to be poor style.

    I, however, do this every time I get the chance.


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