Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Apr 15 16:10:35 UTC 2014

On Apr 15, 2014, at 10:50 AM, Ben Zimmer wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 9:53 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>> Major in them at Adelphi:
>> It used to be that such gimmicky new words were restricted to greedy,
>> cynical advertisers. Now institutions of higher learning are inventing them.
>> Oh. Right. Silly me.
> Sorry, what's notable about this? OED says "informatics" has been
> around since 1967 (and "bioinformatics" since 1976). Formed from
> Russian "informatika," with parallels in German and French. It might
> be a bit more popular in the UK -- in the States you'd more often see
> "information science."

It's also sometimes used for what linguists more usually call "information structure".  I used it in a seminar on that topic (dealing with old and new information, topic and comment, focus, etc., as explored in work since the Prague School on "functional sentence perspective" in the 1920s) but switched to "information structure" because of the possible confusion with the uses Ben mentions above, and I think it's no longer used in that way.  See e.g.

Vallduví, Enric (2003). A theory of informatics. In J. Gutiérrez-Rexach, ed., _Semantics: Critical concepts in linguistics_, vol. 1, 359-384. London: Routledge.

But then E.V. is a native speaker of Catalan.


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