it must be earlier

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Dec 28 21:38:25 UTC 2010

On Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 2:18 PM, David Barnhart wrote:
> OED shows 1952 as earliest date for _oil spill_.
> I found 1950 in JSTOR (Sewage and Industrial Wastes, April p 519)
> And 1948 in (in Alton Evening Telegraph, July 2, p 12)
> But, I can't believe it's not earlier.

1934 _L.A. Times_ 14 May II11/7 A request by West Basin frontage
tenants, holding thirty-day revocable permits for operating yacht
moorings, for…improved methods of controlling oil spills…has been
ordered filed by the Harbor Commission.

1936 _L.A. Times_ 18 Dec. III12/5 The salvage of oil spills and
leakages, a problem which has for years plagued operators of marine
petroleum terminals, has apparently been solved with an ingenious
invention of a young engineer of the Texas Company's local refinery.


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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