One "sponsored link" I don't trust

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sun Jul 26 15:51:08 UTC 2009

On Jul 26, 2009, at 7:38 AM, Mark Mandel wrote:

> From my Gmail page:
> Semantic Data Integration - - Semantically Seach and
> Collaborate Documents, Data, Web in one App...

don't be so hasty.  it's not entirely clear what was intended here,
but it might well be an instance of the compu-tech transitive verb
"collaborate", referring to shared processing, as in the following:

   In fact OffiSync is even more useful than just allowing you to edit
documents from Google Docs, it also allows you to save the documents
back to your Google Docs account and collaborate it [read: them] with
other users from right within Microsoft Word.

   After installing OffiSync you will see a new toolbar in Microsoft
Word, this toolbar will allow you to edit and collaborate documents
from your Google Docs account.


there 's a modest number of other hits in this sense.  it is of course
possible that this verb "collaborate" is an eggcorn for "collate", in
the senses (OED2):

   To bring together for comparison; to compare carefully and exactly,
in order to ascertain points of agreement and difference.

   esp. To compare critically (a copy of a text) with other copies or
with the original, in order to correct and emend it.


i suspect that many people are not especially aware of these older
senses of "collate", but instead think of the verb as referring only
to arranging the sheets of multiple copies in their proper order, as
in NOAD2's definition: "collect and combine (texts, information, or
sets of figures) in proper order"; here, the ordering of the material
is what's crucial, while in innovative "collaborate" (like older
"collate") the significant semantic feature is the sharing of material.

(the NOAD2 sense of "collate" seems not to be in OED2, although the
OED gets close.)

so, possibly, a combo of "collate" 'put in proper order' and
"collaborate" 'work jointly on an activity'.


> --
> Mark Mandel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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