[Ads-l] Incept v. Lives!

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 10 18:35:29 UTC 2017

There are also a couple of science-fiction-related uses of "incept" in
circulation. In the "Blade Runner" movies, replicants are "incepted"
(created) on a particular date (their "incept date"). And in the movie
"Inception," the title refers to planting an idea in someone's mind -- so
if you've been "incepted," your subconscious has been infiltrated


On Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 2:06 PM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:

> We all know "inception," but what about "incept"?  The OED takes this verb
> back to 1569, but the primary sense, "To undertake; to begin, commence,
> enter upon," is marked as Obs., with no examples since 1641 (1802 for
> adverbial "incepted").  There are surviving specialized senses involving
> entering into a career or, in biology, to take in, as an organism or cell.
> Merriam-Webster similarly deems the "being, commence, undertake" meaning to
> be archaic, although it notes surviving meanings of to ingest or to take in
> as a member.
> I was surprised recently to learn that the primary meaning is actually
> very much alive in insurance and law (though not, apparently, in the areas
> of law where I practice, since I hadn't heard it before).  A Westlaw search
> for "incepted" after 2000 finds 6,253 examples, including in 161 court
> opinions.  Here's the most recent as of today:  "The heart of the parties'
> dispute is whether the SEC's investigation into Patriarch is excluded from
> coverage because it was a pending or prior "claim" at the time the AXIS
> policy incepted in August 2011."  Patriarch Partners v. AXIS Insurance Co.,
> No. 16-CV-2277, 2017 WL 4233078 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 22, 2017).
> As this example may suggest, most uses refer to the inception of insurance
> policies.  There are, however, other references, as in this recent case:
> "Turning to the instant matter, SSEM claims that its State Court lawsuit
> should not have been stayed by this Court because its breach of contract
> claim for its share of attorneys' fees is not ancillary to the case which
> incepted in United States District Court for the Western District of
> Pennsylvania in 2003-namely, In re: Community Bank of Northern Virginia."
> In re Community Bank of Northern Virginia Mortgage Lending Practices
> Litigation, MDL No. 1674, 2017 WL 3621509 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 23, 2017).
> Here's another recent non-insurance example, this one from the Board of
> Veterans Appeals:  "The Veteran's hearing loss incepted during active duty
> service due to acoustic trauma experienced during combat."  Bd. Vet. App.
> 1736385, 2017 WL 4475408 (Aug. 31, 2017).
> So on the whole I think this is not an archaic or obsolete meaning,
> although it may be appropriate to mark its current use as primarily
> insurance and law.

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