"Looking For New Words Added in the Past Century"

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 23 11:12:43 UTC 2011

I am not suggesting it's a good thing, but it doesn't sound like this guy or
anyone on his team wants to sit down with a dictionary at all. They want a
list (which, I suppose, a dictionary with such a search feature could
theoretically produce). I also suspect that he does not mean words that
might have appeared in a new meaning since 1911. So, "flash" or "memory"
would not qualify, while "flash memory" might--if they accept phrasal
"words"--which is why they may be running short. If one restricts the list
only to single words that had not merely acquired new meaning but were
entirely new coinages, the list indeed might be a short one--even
"integrated circuit", "quantum", "broadcast", "computer" or "calculator"
would not qualify. So we'd be restricted to words like transistor,
electronica (but not "electronic"), laser (and it's progeny: maser, phaser,
taser), LED/LCD (if initialisms are allowed), nanotechnology (and other
nano- words), thermonuclear, quintile, DNA, behaviorism, etc. And a lot of
these would either be hypertechnical (e.g., chemical and drug names) or
slangish (e.g., "psychobabble"--probably not something they'd want to
include). Interestingly, "vitamin" might qualify (coined right around 1912),
but "hormone" would not (already used a decade earlier). Popsicle is in
(1920s), but aspirin is out (1899).


On Mon, May 23, 2011 at 5:36 AM, Damien Hall <D.Hall at kent.ac.uk> wrote:

> The following has appeared in the Linguist List Noticeboard.  It looks as
> if the ideal resource for this person would be an online dictionary where
> words could be searched for by date of first citation.  As I'm not a
> lexicographer, I can't help them, but I suspect there are people here who
> might be able to!  Please respond off-list to Kinley Puzey directly:
> kpuzey at vcbo.com<mailto:kpuzey at vcbo.com>
> The notice:
> "Date Submitted: 11-May-2011
> From: Kinley Puzey
> Subject: Looking For New Words Added in the Past Century
> Notice: I'm an Architect based in Salt Lake City. We're building a school
> and it is the Centennial year of this specific school district's beginning.
> We would like to etch a design or artistic piece in the windows in the media
> lab of words that didn't exist 100 years ago. More specifically words to do
> with technology and literature. We've been able to find some more recent
> words but are having a hard time finding older words. If you have any
> resources, information or could possible point us in the right direction we
> would greatly appreciate it.
> Thanks,
> Kinley Puzey"
> Damien
> --
> Damien Hall

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

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