"report" 'someone reporting to a manager'

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Thu May 28 23:50:11 UTC 2009

On May 28, 2009, at 3:23 PM, John Baker wrote:

>        I too would have guessed that this usage isn't recent, but it
> looks like I would have been wrong.  It's been prevalent only since
> the
> late 1980s, which is recent enough that the recency illusion seems
> to be
> at work.

that would be the Antiquity Illusion, not the Recency Illusion:


   You're probably guessing that I'm going to add a kind of inverse
counterpart to the Recency Illusion, call it the Antiquity Illusion:
if you use some linguistic feature naturally and regularly, you
believe that it has been in the language for a long time -- at least
since your early years.  And so I am.
   AZ, 2/21/06: The Antiquity Illusion:


though reasonably widespread usage of the item in question is short of
a generation old, by your reckoning, i'd still count it as recent.
certainly, considerably more recent than most things people have
labeled as "recent".

in any case, thanks for the cites.

> ...       So "direct report," to mean an employee who reports
> directly to
> the person in question, began to be used in the mid-1980s and became
> the
> dominant use in 1989, and by the mid-1990s it was so widely used
> that it
> swamped all other meanings.


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