Antedating of "Terminology"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Jan 24 01:15:48 UTC 2004

terminology (OED 1801)

1771 Jacob Friedrich Bielfeld _The elements of universal erudition.
Containing an analytical abridgment of the sciences, polite arts, and
belles lettres_ 280 (Eighteenth Century Collections Online)  Ontology was
formerly regarded as a barren science, that consisted of technical terms
only; as a mere terminology; whereas the best modern philosophers make it
a more substantial science, by annexing determinate ideas to those words.

_Id._ 198  The terminology of alchymy is altogether as absurd as its
object; and the books, which have been written on this pretended science,
are a disgrace to the human understanding.  Expressions constantly dark,
without ideas, and without connexion; barbarous terms to express things
the most simple and natural; a ridiculous jargon, and mystic explications,
at which good sense perpetually stumbles, compose the essence of these
works; and it would be for ever vain there to seek, either demonstration,
reason, or the appearance of evidence.

Fred Shapiro

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

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