"empath" as lexicographic lacuna

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Nov 24 16:28:58 UTC 2008

At 11:17 AM -0500 11/24/08, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>On Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 11:08 AM, Laurence Horn
><laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
>>  I was curious about when the word was first attested,
>>  and to my surprise _empath_ is unlisted in either the (online) OED or
>>  AHD4, despite the fact that it has both a wikipedia entry (albeit
>>  largely devoted to the science-fiction ESP-y variety of empath as
>>  opposed to the more general sense invoked by Connelly's FBI agent and
>>  the Acrostic designers) and "about 730,000" raw g-hits for the word.
>It's in the Science Fiction Citations database (on Jesse's site) and
>the book it
>spawned, _Brave New Words_. Here's the online entry, with cites back to 1956:
...which makes it all the odder that it's not in the standard dictionaries

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

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