Currently, the shortening is considered as one of the most productive ways of word formation. Under the influence of various intralingual and extralinguistic factors, the tendency to reduce the lexical units of the language increases, which raises the shortenings to a qualitatively new level — it is becoming a widespread method of designation. The complexity and intensity of the shortening process necessitates a detailed study of this method of word formation. Responding to the pragmatic attitudes of modern society, shortening performs nominative, cognitive and expressive functions, as well as the function of information compression.
The process of shortening and the types of shortenings are comprehensively described by linguists of the 20th century (DI Alekseev, Z.A. Alikulov, V.V Borisov, R.I Mogilevsky); functional, pragmatic, cognitive and structural-semantic features of contractions were studied by such scientists as A.N. Eldyshev, E.N. Ozhogin, E.R. Mustafinova. The reference to the specifics of shortenings is mainly associated with the study of problems of discourse (V.I. Karasik, N.A. Akhrenova) and the theory of communication (A.N. Baranov, V.B. Kashkin, G.G. Pocheptsov, S. Herring).
This paper describes the specifics of shortenings in ICT in modern English. On this basis, the role of shortenings in the generation of new lexical units is considered.
It is known that the vocabulary of the modern language is constantly evolving under the influence of various factors. «The vocabulary of the language is known to be in a state of continuous change. This mobility and variability of it is due to the fact that language, and primarily its vocabulary, is directly related to both production and any other social activity of a person. In order for a language to fully fulfill its main function of the most important means of communication, its vocabulary must quickly respond to changes occurring in all spheres of people's life and activities: in production, in science, in worldview, in socio-economic relations, finally, at home; — reflect and record these changes. Concepts arising in the course of social development need to be realized in linguistic matter, in verbal embodiment. The complication of the forms of social life, the development and deepening of the entire amount of human knowledge of the surrounding reality causes the emergence of new words and the gradual displacement from linguistic use of those words that were associated with the passed stage of social practice and ideology».
The development of society at the present stage gives rise to the need for mass nomination, which the language must satisfy with the help of the means of word formation at its disposal. The formation of new words is always an act of nomination, since any lexical unit is created to name a certain reality. On the other hand, the connection between the creation of a word and the nominative activity of a person is obvious.
«Word formation is aimed at solving a purely onomasiological problem — the creation of nominative units with the status of a word. For the theory of the general process of nomination, the provision that derivatives (shortenings), acting as new names, simultaneously refer us to the familiar from the previous one — to the familiar signs of the language (the original unabridged version of the word) is of paramount importance. The existence of derivative words creates conditions for easier access to the structures of consciousness, which ensures the fulfillment of one of the most important functions of the language — the communicative one».
A similar view of the functioning of word formation is expressed by E.A. Zemskaya: «It is the word-formation mechanism that first of all provides the language with an infinite variety of words that meet all the needs of human communication».
Despite the fact that word formation primarily performs the function of a nomination, the specificity of word formation methods in individual languages is different. In addition to the communicative function, language acts as a kind of mirror reflection of culture and national traditions. We are interested in the point of view of M.A. Yarmashevich, according to which the vocabulary of a language certainly reflects the cultural heritage and is an indicator of the evolution of native speakers of this language: «The vocabulary of the national language fixes and transfers from generation to generation the specifics of ethnosocial and cultural norms, thus supporting the continuity and stability of the ethnic mentality. Studying the peculiarities of word usage, one can diagnose the state of spiritual health of an ethnic group and, to some extent, even predict its evolution — provided that the facts are adequately assessed, consistently recorded and the direction of the dynamics is established». This point of view is shared by the linguist N.N. Amosova, mentioning that "the quantitative growth and qualitative changes in the vocabulary of the language are ultimately associated with the history of the people, the creator and speaker of this language".
The general result of all these considerations is that the study of word-formation processes is interesting not only from a linguistic, but also from a linguacultural point of view.
Before embarking on a more detailed study of one of the word formation methods — shortening — it seems necessary to determine the problems related to the role of word-formation processes in general. From the above it follows that the development of a language is largely due to the development of its word-formation system, the formation of new word-formation models of words, a change in existing ones, an increase or decrease in their productivity, and many other factors of the word-formation process.
The term "word formation" itself has two meanings. According to the definition given in the Linguistic Encyclopedic Dictionary, word formation is «the formation of words called derivatives and complex, usually on the basis of single-root words according to existing linguistic patterns and models using affixation and other formal means» [LES 1990]. In addition, this term means "a section of linguistics that studies all aspects of the creation, functioning, structure and classification of derivatives and compound words" [ibid.].
In the first sense, this term is used to refer to the constant process of the formation of new words in the language. The language is in a state of continuous development, including certain linguistic processes, including the creation of new lexical units. This process is called "word formation". The structure of each non-root word, as well as many modern root words, is the result of the process of formation of these words. The essence of word-formation processes lies in the creation of new names, new secondary units of designation (shortenings), and since such names are words, the term «word formation» is disclosed in the literal sense, that is, primarily as a name for the process of word formation. In the second sense, the term "word formation" designates a branch of science dealing with the study of the processes of formation of lexical units.