to eyeball

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Jun 3 03:38:25 UTC 2008

On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 11:11 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at> wrote:
> Searching Google books for "eyeballed" and date before 1946 got a lot
> of hits. Many were clearly just 'look at', but these seems pretty safe
> for sense. I've expanded the snippet by a little kludging to get more
> context.
> Public Utilities Fortnightly - Google Book Search
> Public Utilities Fortnightly - Page 22
> by Public Utilities Reports, inc, Gale Group, inc Public Utilities
> Reports, West Publishing Company - Public utilities - 1929
> Then, for each season, select the load curves for the peak day, a typical
> weekday, a typical Saturday, and a typical Sunday.
> Rating periods are then "eyeballed" by looking at these curves. While helpful
> for display purposes, this method rarely provides a firm statistical
> demonstration of having avoided bias in the selection of rating periods ...
> The page is at
> or, if you really want the actual URI:
> I can't find the actual date, but the style of type on the image
> suggests pre-WWII.

Sorry to say, searching on years mentioned in the text suggests it's
actually c1976:

> Ah, but here's a snippet from a book, not a periodical for which
> Google gives the date of first publication ... no, dammit, "about this
> book" doesn't mean "book" after all, and this is "News magazine for
> government road & street officials, engineers & contractors."
> Better Roads - Page 32
> Roads - 1937
> Old construction hands, relying mostly on "eyeballing" the product,
> seem to think
> there is a difference in the binding quality. Lab tests run by The Asphalt ...
> =

This one looks to be c1979:

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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