Atlantic Monthly: "Word Fugitives"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Feb 8 19:39:01 UTC 2006

A subscriber has kindly sent this link to the full article, which is
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On 2/8/06, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at> wrote:
> Anybody have a subscription to Atlantic Monthly? I'm intrigued by
> these opening paragraphs...
> -----
> The Atlantic Monthly | March 2006
> Pursuits & Retreats
> Word Fugitives
> by Barbara Wallraff
> In October a reader in Kingston, Washington, requested a word for "the
> reflection of moonlight on water and the way it follows you as you are
> walking down the beach or a dock." Her congressman, Jay Inslee,
> promptly sent in four original coinages, including the
> more-than-serviceable term emoontional attachment. How's that for
> responsive representation?
> Other readers, including JESSE SHEIDLOWER, an editor of the Oxford
> English Dictionary, reported that the word requested already exists:
> moonglade. Sheidlower wrote, "It's very rare, and it tends to appear
> mostly in lists of words for things you didn't know there were words
> for. But it is used for real." Dan Schechter, of Los Alamitos,
> California, argued for a different word that he already knew. He
> wrote, "Mariners sometimes call the moving path of light leading to
> the moon the moonwake, because it looks like the white wash of a
> ship's wake."
> -----

The American Dialect Society -

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