Antedating of "Sci-Fi"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 18 05:53:39 UTC 2014

On Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 7:23 AM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at>wrote:

> There has been a fair amount of attention given to the question of what is
> =
> the earliest use of the term "sci-fi."  The OED's first use is dated 1955.
> =
>  The OED web site of science fiction citations has a December 1954 usage
> by=
>   _Forrest J. Ackerman_, who is often said to be the coiner.  A supposed
> usage=
>  by Robert A. Heinlein in 1949 has been shown to be erroneous.  The term
> lo=
> oks very much like a Varietyism, and in fact I have now found an earlier
> oc=
> currence in Variety:
> 1954 _Variety_ 17 Feb. 38 (ProQuest)  New Telepix Shows ... The commercial
> =
> possibilities are there as well since "Junior Science," aside from its
> posi=
> tive qualities, is a rewarding change of pace from the more thunderous
> sci-=
> fi and spaceship packages.

Interesting. Fordy Ackerman and others purists associated with Astounding
Science Fiction used to bitch about neological barbarisms like "sci-fi" and

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list