"Looking For New Words Added in the Past Century"

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 24 01:37:58 UTC 2011

Here is one strategy for obtaining some of the words that the
designers want to engrave on windows. Look in The Oxford Dictionary of
Science Fiction of Jeff Prucher (also known as "Brave New Words"). A
large collection of modern words that are now in the "conventional"
vocabulary first appeared in the literature of science fiction. Many
of these terms refer to items that are no longer "science fictional"
and may be acceptable to the designers. ODSF has great citations.

After locating a word in the ODSF look it up in the Oxford English
Dictionary and other dictionaries to see how it fits into the
"mainstream" and to check if other earlier citations have been found.

Planetography is in ODSF with a 1955 cite, but the OED gives a 1735
citation with a somewhat different meaning.

Webcast [noun] is in ODSF with a 1987 cite and in the OED with a 1995 cite.

Light-speed [noun] has 1929 (ODSF) and 1914 (OED) cites.

Another strategy involves consulting specialized dictionaries in the
sciences and social sciences. This may yield leads for further

On Mon, May 23, 2011 at 7:12 AM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       victor steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "Looking For New Words Added in the Past Century"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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).
> VS-)
> 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
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