[Ads-l] Alt-facts; or: "A speculation that is a novelle"; & what sense of "novel" is this?

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Thu Feb 9 16:48:17 EST 2017

"A Speculation that is a novelle might have been composed sooner, but not a real History: for as amongst Naturalists, many repeated observations and experiments are requisite to form established truths or conclusions; so it ought certainly to be in the practice of Medicine, where no affair of Speculation or curiosity, but the life and death of a fellow Citizen is the object of our enquiry."

William Douglas, M.D. The Practical History of A New Epidemical Eruptive Miliary Fever, with an Angina Ulcusculosa ... .  Boston: Thomas Fleet, 1736.  Page ii.

I am not sure what sense of "novel" this is.  If it's the following ("alt-facts"?), it antedates OED3 1764-- (the only quotation):

? 4.d: A story or lie; an invention. Obs. rare.
1764   S. Foote Lyar iii. ii. 52   Your novels won't pass upon me.


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

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