[Ads-l] surveil verb (1887) backformation of surveillance

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 7 10:08:01 EST 2017

Great finds!

Independent coinages?


On Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 4:22 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
> wrote:

> Yesterday while searching for information about the Super Bowl I can
> across an instance of "surveil" employed as a verb in the title of an
> article on the Wired website. An interesting modifier was applied to
> the verb: "Surveilled Hard".
> Timestamp: 01.31.16. 7:00 am.
> Website: Wired.com
> Author: April Glaser
> Article: If You Go Near the Super Bowl, You Will Be Surveilled Hard
> https://www.wired.com/2016/01/govs-plan-keep-super-bowl-
> safe-massive-surveillance/
> The OED has an entry for "surveil" as a verb with citations starting
> in 1960. The grammarist website also mentions instances from the early
> 1960s. Below are citations in 1887 and 1924.
> Date: November 22, 1887
> Newspaper: The Leavenworth Times
> Newspaper Location: Leavenworth, Kansas
> Article: Buying the Town
> Quote Page 4
> Database: Newspapers.com
> [Begin excerpt]
> Officer Goodell had spotted him as a crook, and surveilled his
> maneuvers. It was learned that he owed for three weeks' board at the
> National hotel, and had made no effort to pay the bill.
> [End excerpt]
> Date: June 1, 1924
> Newspaper: The Baltimore Sun
> Newspaper Location: Baltimore, Maryland
> Article: Four American Negroes Are Expelled From Paris (Associated Press)
> Quote Page 11, Column 5
> Database: Newspapers.com
> [Begin excerpt]
> The official communique said there had never been any question of
> expulsions "en bloc." Foreigners were always surveilled by the police
> and those among them who failed to comply with the regulations would
> be expelled.
> [End excerpt]
> Below is an excerpt from the analysis provided by the grammarist website.
> Surveil
> http://grammarist.com/words/surveil/
> [Begin excerpt]
> The verb surveil, originally a backformation of surveillance, was long
> considered nonstandard, and even now is still so new to the language
> (the earliest instances date from the early 1960s) that some
> dictionaries don’t include it, and your spell check might disapprove
> of it. But even though survey is closely related, etymologically, to
> surveillance, survey does not carry the sense to keep under
> surveillance (where surveillance means close observation, especially
> of one under suspicion).
> [End except]
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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

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