Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Nov 27 14:03:40 UTC 2010

And I thought it meant "the state, or process, of
wearing clothes."  And "habilitated" = "having
achieved the state of being clothed."


At 11/27/2010 01:44 AM, Paul Frank wrote:
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
>Though the OED does have an entry for "habilitation" and one of the
>meanings of it is "qualification" (with a quotation from 1868), it's
>surprising that there's no proper definition of the current and
>important meaning of the post-doctoral academic qualification known in
>many European countries, including Germany and Switzerland, as
>"habilitation." For an excellent explanation of this by now _English_
>word, see:
>The German word "Habilitation" is sometimes translated as "State
>doctorate," sometimes as "postdoctoral lecture qualification," and
>sometimes as "post-doctoral thesis." But all of these are inadequate
>for various reasons. I frequently come across the word "habilitation"
>in English publications about continental Europe and I'm surprised
>that it's not in the OED.
>Surprisingly, the much rarer word "privatdozent" does get an entry in
>the OED and is defined thus: "In German-speaking countries: a teacher
>or lecturer who has attained his or her Habilitation and thereby has
>formal teaching status within a particular university faculty or
>department, but is not on its salaried staff."
>There's no good reason to have the word "privatdozent" in the OED,
>because it's a very rare word in English. (Every other day or so, I
>come across English words that are far less rare than "privatdozent"
>which are not listed in the OED.) Habilitation, on the other hand, is
>a word known to most people who have dealings with European academics.
>Then again, the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, a far bigger
>dictionary than the OED, doesn't list the by-now Dutch word
>Paul Frank
>Chinese, German, French, Italian > English
>Espace de l'Europe 16
>Neuch√Ętel, Switzerland
>paulfrank at bfs.admin.ch
>paulfrank at post.harvard.edu
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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