coining words in the age of the Internet

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 26 01:11:16 UTC 2010

Then you can imagine how I felt, some 65 years ago, after I "invented"
the word, _arse_, as a euphemistic cover for that common obscenity,
"ass." It seemed perfect: close enough to the "original" to be clearly
understood, yet sufficiently distant that I no longer needed to fear
Sister Mary Jane's ruler.

Censorship only keeps people ignorant of the otherwise obvious.


On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 2:55 PM, Paul Frank <paulfrank at> wrote:
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> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  Paul Frank <paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â coining words in the age of the Internet
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> There I was feeling pleased with myself in a Facebook post for having
> coined the singular digeratus, from digerati, but then I googled it
> and found that several people had coined it already. In the old days
> you could coin a word or expression and tell yourself that you'd done
> something clever (even if you knew that it wouldn't catch on). Today,
> it's all too easy to find out that no matter what new word you think
> of, lots of people have beat you to it.
> Paul
> Paul Frank
> Translator
> German, French, Italian > English
> paulfrank at
> paul.frank at
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