A 'good' change in a word. A metaplasm is when you mess around with a word for artistic reasons. If you do it by mistake (or at least, if your mistake is not an improvement), it's a barbarism.

There are many different types of metaplasm, depending on where in the word the change is made, and how it is made. Here's a list; it is probably not complete. Let me know if you have any additions.

Metaplasm by addition:
Diastole: lengthening a syllable.
Ecthlipsis: adding a consonant, perhaps with an accompaning vowel.
Epenthesis: insertion of a letter or a sound
Paragoge: addition of a letter or syllable to the end of a word.
Prothesis or Prosthesis: adding letters to the beginning of a word.
Diaeresis: separation of one syllable into two.

Metaplasm by subtraction or omission:
Aphaeresis or Apheresis: cutting off the beginning of a word.
Apocope: cutting off the end of a word.
Ellipsis: any cutting of a word can be refered top as ellipsis.
Synaloepha: the blending of two successive vowels of adjacent syllables into one syllable.
Synaeresis: two syllables contracted into one.
Syncope: removing letters or syllables from the center of a word.
Systole: shortening a long syllable.

Metaplasm by transposition:
Metathesis: changing the order of letters or syllables in a word.

Metaplasm by substitution:
Antisthecon: subsituting one letter or syllable for another.

Met"a*plasm (?), n. [L. metaplasmus, Gr. ; beyond, over + to mold: cf. F. m'etaplasme.] Gram.

A change in the letters or syllables of a word.


© Webster 1913.

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