Antedating of "Finalize"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Feb 3 21:01:34 UTC 2013

"Finalize" became a highly controversial word when it was included in Webster's Third New International Dictionary.  The OED's first use is dated 1922, drawn from unpublished correspondence in the files of the Merriam-Webster company.  Here's earlier usage:

1893 _Publications of the Modern Language Association_ VIII. 211 (JSTOR)  Goodell admits the former for Greek but denies the latter.  He declares that the tendency to emphasize by finalizing "prevails in French".

1901 _American Journal of Sociology_ VI. 490 (JSTOR)  It is hardly to be expected that a final classification of associations can be proposed, for associations themselves are not finalized.

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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