early candidate for WOTY races

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Fri Apr 23 18:01:12 UTC 2004

On Fri, Apr 23, 2004 at 05:36:54PM +0100, Michael Quinion wrote:
> "Presenteeism" has been lurking in the linguistic undergrowth for
> some time, as it happens, though with the sense of employees staying
> at work unnecessarily out of normal hours for fear of being laid off;
> my first example on file in that sense is from the Guardian of 30
> Nov. 1994: "In their search for a balance between life at work at
> life beyond it, they reject the 'presenteeism' which is becoming more
> of a problem than absenteeism in many organisations." But a search
> throws up an earlier sense still, from around 1944, when the US Air
> Force instituted a presenteeism campaign, with the word used in the
> sense of good attendance (among its civilian employees, not its
> servicemen).

If you search the remote wilds of, say, OED2, you'll find a
1931 example of _presenteeism_, along with a 1892 from Mark
Twain of _presentee_ 'one who is present'.

Jesse Sheidlower

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