some WOTY candidates, and others

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Dec 31 05:21:35 UTC 2004

At 11:54 PM -0500 12/30/04, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>On Thu, 30 Dec 2004 23:29:42 -0500, Alice Faber <faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU>
>>--On Thursday, December 30, 2004 9:53 PM -0500 Laurence Horn
>><laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
>>>  facebook, v. 'to look someone up/check someone out in Yale's online
>>>  facebook or at'  (the noun is a couple of years
>>>  old, but the verb is new)
>>If by "a couple" you mean 35+ years...(we had a facebook at Cornell in the
>>fall of 1970)
>Even in a strictly Yalensian context, "facebook" was the common term for
>the student directory in the late '80s/early '90s.  I don't recall the
>verb being used in those pre-Web days, but it looks like it's at least
>five years old...

Touché.  I checked the first few pages of "facebooked" on google, and
they all seemed to be quite recent (I didn't keep going long enough
to locate the last of the below examples from 11/02), so I assumed
other verb forms would also be recent, but maybe not.  Still, there
aren't a whole lot of unambiguous verbs from earlier years--even the
11/02 article that claims that "for students, [facebook] is a verb"
contains 23 instances of the noun facebook (including noun-noun
compounds) and zero of the verb.  "Facebooking" in the first article
is a verbal noun.  But "facebooked" in 11/02 is hard to dismiss.

I wonder if there are similar antedates for _iStalking_.  Or _frape_.

>Published Saturday, July 31, 1999
>Every college, as well as the entire freshman class, has a dance in which
>roommates set each other up, and devise creative ways for the couple to
>meet, often after hours of facebooking.
>Published Tuesday, November 6, 2001
>For administrators, "facebook" is a noun. For students, it is a verb, and
>an active one at that.
>Providing endless hours of eye candy (and some useful information), the
>online facebook has become the new "hook-up" Bible for many Yalies.
>Published Friday, November 22, 2002
>Garland Jackson, if you're reading this, we know you're not a Yale student
>because we facebooked you.
>--Ben Zimmer (DC 92)

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