Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Jul 23 15:51:30 UTC 2007

>From an AP report on the latest win by the New York Mets:

"It's an outstanding win on the road, a great gutsy win by the club,"
[Mets manager Willie] Randolph said. "This is the kind of game that
you might look back on at the end of the season and say this might
have been a big turning point for us. We showed that
'sticktuitiveness' that we need to be a real good team. It's going to
be a nice flight home."

OED has "stick-to-it-ive-ness" back to 1867 but doesn't know the
"sticktuitiveness" spelling -- presumably influenced by
"intuitiveness". Google Books has (verifiable) cites back to 1914.

1914 _Record of Christian Work_ XXXIII 213 The thing that the Editor
liked so much about this man was his 'sticktuitiveness.'
1914 Winifred Sackville Stoner _Natural Education_ 238 Once we read
the story of how oriental rugs are made thread by thread, so as to
show the child what patience, continuity or "sticktuitiveness," can
1920 Sinclair Lewis _Main Street_ 199 There's just three classes of
people: folks that haven't got any ideas at all; and cranks that kick
about everything; and Regular Guys, the fellows with
stick~tuitiveness, that boost and get the world's work done.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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