Barnhart barnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM
Fri Jun 13 17:14:56 UTC 2008

American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> writes:
> "Link rot" has been around longer than I would have guessed,
>considering that I don't recall previously running into this useful
>term.  From the newsgroup bit.listserv.qualrs-l, Google Groups,
>11/1/1996, from a list of "new definitions in the high tech world,"
>"Link Rot" is defined as "The process by which links on a web page
>became as obsolete as the sites they're connected to change location or

For what it's worth, my e.q. (earliest quote) is
word form in ....  Nexis....................ProQuest

linkrot .....(e.q. Dec 29, 1996).........(e.q. Spring 2000).........0
link rot ....(e.q. Aug 18, 1996).........(e.q. Feb 15, 1999)...(e.q. 2002)
link-rot ....0

Not mentioned before (I think) in this thread is the fact that Nexis
tabulates only the number of articles (titles) in which a term appears.
Any given article may have only one or very many instances.  So, range is
easier to calculate than is frequency.  Although I haven't investigated
this before, it is my hunch that some new forms are likely to be repeated
several times in an article while others are likely to appear only once.
This probably is a matter of writing style as much as anything, however.

There are so many unanswered questions concerning Web-based resources,
such as Nexis, ProQuest and the like.


barnhart at

The American Dialect Society -

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