Coinage of ``Hypertext``

Herb Stahlke hstahlke at GW.BSU.EDU
Sun Jun 10 02:51:43 UTC 2001

Of course, the concept, though not the term, goes back to Vannevar Bush's 1945 Atlantic Monthly essay "As we may think".  It's worth rereading.  You can find it at

Herb Stahlke

<<< fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU  6/ 9  5:29p >>>
In tomorrow's "On Language" column, William Safire contacts Ted Nelson,
the coiner of the term "hypertext."  Nelson tells Safire that "the coinage
was in an August 1965 paper by Nelson titled 'A File Structure for the
Complex, the Changing and the Indeterminate.'"

In fact, "hypertext" appeared earlier in 1965.  In the Vassar Miscellany
News, 3 Feb. 1965, there was an article entitled "Prof. Nelson Talk
Analyzes P.R.I.D.E."  This article includes the following passage:

He introduced the concept of the hyper-text, which would be a more
flexible, more generalized, non-linear presentation of material on a
particular subject.  The educational possibilities in the use of the
hyper-text are vast.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Public Services     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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