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We’ve finished our theme of “newness words”. Is there a term meaning “a new word”? Of course – and we’ll use it to transition to our new theme of “words about making words and using words”.

neologism – a newly coined word or expression
[Greek neo new + logos word]
    The National Cultural Ministry in Paris has actually prevailed upon the legislature to outlaw popular foreign terms. Talk shows, chewing gum, software, prime time and cheeseburgers inter alia will now be denoted by the terms causerie, gomme à mâcher, logiciels, heures de grande écoute, and … well, quelque chose (something or other) “à la fromage”. Ads using fashionable anglicisms will have to be translated, and scientific terms from the new global technology will have to find French neologisms if French scientists want to write or speak about them.
    – Benjamin Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World (ellipses omitted)
Bonus word:
inter alia
– among other things
 
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hapax legomenon – a word that occurs only once in the recorded corpus of a given language, a literature, or an author
[Gk., lit. "once said"]
    The Song of Songs, also called the Song of Solomon …, is less than three pages long. Almost no other book of the Bible has inspired such a wild variety of interpretations over the ages. … One reason there are so many radically divergent interpretations is that the dreamy song is a Bible translator's nightmare. Hapax legomenon is a Greek term for words that occur only once in a text, and the song has a higher proportion of them than any other book of the Bible.
    – New York Times, Putting the Sensuality Back in the Bible's Love Song, Feb. 14, 1998
 
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I thought that phrase sounded familiar. Ammon Shea first used hapax on May 25, 2003 during one of our many discussions about i]epicaricacy[/i], and Kalleh used the full phrase, hapax logomenon, on November 03, 2004.
 
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Yes. You do realize that hapax legomenon does predate both Ammon Shea and Kalleh? IIRC, the term is from classical philology and refers to words that only occur once in Homer. After than, anything goes.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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For the longest time I collected neologisms and late slang but when my compilation had grown to 5400 entries I had to quit becuse I couldn't keep up -- dalehileman@verizon.net
 
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I can’t find any simple and complete definition of today’s term, so I’ll try to explain it.

A baseball is a type of ball; a cat-lover is a type of lover; in general, when a compound term ends with a noun, it means a noun of that type.

But there are exceptions. Sometimes it is a noun with a completely different meaning: a hatch-back is not a kind of back, and a sweet tooth isn’t a tooth! And sometimes it's not a noun, but as an adjective: we can speak of a high-fiber diet, a kick-ass speech, low-impact aerobics, and an upscale restaurant (but there is no such thing as a fiber diet, an ass speech, impact aerobics, or a scale restaurant.)

bakuvrihi – a compound word, ending with a noun, that does not function as a noun of that sort
[Sanskrit bahuvrihi 'having much rice', which in Sanskrit is a word of this type]
    [from a website] Let's say someone calls you "dogbreath". You could get angry and let them win the verbal duel with this blunt challenge. Alternatively, you could parry and thrust with this line: "Is that the best bakuvrihi you can come up with?" and walk away, leaving the aggressor in mental and spiritual disarray with no dictionary to shield himself.

    Though a workman is a kind of man and a bluebird is a kind of bird, a cutthroat is not a kind of throat, nor is a lazybones a kind of bones. Linguists call these bakuvrihi compounds, from the Sanskrit expression "having much rice."
    – Steven Pinker, Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language
It can get interesting if the noun’s plural form is irregular. For example, if a bigfoot and a sabretooth (each a bakuvrihi creature!) are in combat, and each is joined by its spouse, is it the bigfoots vs. the sabretooths? Or is it be the bigfeet vs. the sabreteeth? Wink
 
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bakuvrihi

It's bahuvrihi. I get zero ghits for *bakuvrihi.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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It's also known as an exocentric compound. They are pluralized regularly, which is why the hockey team is called the Toronto Maple Leafs and not Leaves.
 
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quote:
Hapax legomenon is a Greek term for words that occur only once in a text


Would it be too pedantic to say that Hapax legomenon is a Greek term for *a word that occurs only once in a text*. Hapax legomena is a Greek term for words that occur only once in a text. I had a linguistics professor who insisted on the difference.
 
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Originally posted by zmježd:
You do realize that hapax legomenon does predate both Ammon Shea and Kalleh?

Yes, of course I do. I meant in this forum. I thought that was obvious. I guess it wasn't.
 
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I meant in this forum. I thought that was obvious. I guess it wasn't.

You might've added in this forum to the statement, and it would've been less ambiguous. Sorry to have bothered you.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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singlet – a humorous coined “word that doesn't appear in the dictionary, but should’
[The term “sniglet” was coined by Rich Hall, a cast member on the 1990 TV show “Not Necessarily the News,” on HBO. The quoted language above is his definition.]
    Mark the agent has created a singlet for … the time lapse between the moment babies get a shot and the moment they react. There’s the hiatus, then the crying: it’s a criatus!
    – Judith Newman, You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman: The Diary of a New Mother

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I am embarrassed. The last two days’ words were bakuvrihi and sniglet, but I miswrote them as bahuvrihi and singlet. Ah, to err is human, and I hope you will forgive.
 
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You may recall that our quotation for neologism, a few days ago, dealt with French resistance to popular foreign terms. Back in the 1500s when English was changing rapidly, there were those who similar opposed Latinate terms coming into and “polluting” the pure Anglo-Saxon. (Their objection may not have been entirely linguistic, for at the time England was on very bad terms with the major Latinate, Catholic countries of the continent, France and Spain.)

They coined a beautifully contemptuous phrase for the words they objected to. Unfortunately, their position was so extreme as to be silly, their position and their coinage did not catch on. Pity, for it is a wonderful term for “highfalutin language”.

inkhorn terms – pedantic terms or learned borrowing from foreign tongues [From the days of quill pens, which unlike modern pens do not carry their own ink. An inkhorn was a small vessel for ink fastened to the clothing.]
    Over the centuries grammar guides and style manuals have favored Anglo-Saxon pedigree. … This meme started in England in the sixteenth century, when "inkhorn terms" (Latinisms and foreign phrases creeping into the Anglo-Saxon lexicon) were disparaged as a vestige of the Norman invasion. … [But consider] the laughable lengths to which philologists would take this argument: William Barnes, in the nineteenth century, suggested that we replace the Latinate criticism with the Saxon deemster-hood, grammar with speechcraft, botany with worrtlore, and active with sprack. Ack!
    – Constance Hale, Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose
Bonus Word:
meme
– an element of culture passed on by imitation or other non-genetic means

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to err is human

... ti really mess things up takes a computer.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Originally posted by wordcrafter:
You may recall that our quotation for neologism, a few days ago, dealt with French resistance to popular foreign terms. Back in the 1500s when English was changing rapidly, there were those who similar opposed Latinate terms coming into and “polluting” the pure Anglo-Saxon. (Their objection may not have been entirely linguistic


it never is.
 
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back-formation – a word that is formed from what appears to be its derivative

For example, liaise from liaison, and enthused from enthusiasm. These two are notable because they jar the ear, but many other words created in just the same way have become so familiar that you wouldn’t notice: edit from editor; peddler from peddle; donate from donation; emote from emotion; accrete from accretion; aesthete from aesthetic; televise from television.

The tender-hearted policemen in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance sympathize with criminals, who are after all human beings like the rest of us.
    When the enterprising burglar's not a-burgling,
    When the cut-throat isn't occupied in crime
    He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling
    And listen to the merry village chime.
    When the coster's finished jumping on his mother.
    He loves to lie a-basking in the sun
    Ah, take one consideration with another
    A policeman's lot is not a happy one.

    When constabulary duty's to be done, to be done,
    A policeman's lot is not a happy one, happy one.
 
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Bonus Word:
meme – an element of culture passed on by imitation or other non-genetic means

Today, this term is used to mean a sort of online quiz or survey that allows a blogger to talk about themselves, i.e. "What kind of coffee drink are you?" or "101 things about me".

Have any of the rest of you seen this usage?


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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a sort of online quiz or survey

I took this to be an extension of meme's primary meaning of something being passed along. I still read and hear the Dawkin's meaning used extensively in other less bloggish milieux.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Blogs make it very easy for a blogger's message to be picked up by other bloggers and reposted, with or without further comment. Thus someone who subscribes to one blog will see the message and perhaps pass it along in turn. The meme will thus be propagated.

Several RSS aggregators will track these memes and report on what topics are popular in the "blogosphere".


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
Bonus Word:
meme[/b] – an element of culture passed on by imitation or other non-genetic means


That is a good definition of Dawkins's invented term, but it has been so widely applied that its meaning is now blurred. Dawkins has commented that they are another kind of selfish replicator —things like ideas, fashions, tunes, and so forth that multiply by leaping from mind to mind. When Dawkins introduced the meme concept many thought that the evolution of culture, or even of the mind, might be explained as a sort of Darwinian competition among memes. But little has come of this. Dawkins emphasises: "It was always intended to be a way of dramatizing the idea that a Darwinian replicator doesn't have to be a gene. It can be a computer virus. Or a meme. The point is that a good replicator is just a replicator that spreads, regardless of its material form."

Now trendy and fashionable with pseudo-intellectuals the original sense is now debased.
 
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Also, Dawkins doesn't think the use of "selfish" was a good idea. On a separate note, for a scientist, he really is a fabulous write. Not many science books are patterned after the Canterbury Tales.
 
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portmanteau word – a word formed by merging the sounds and meanings of two different words, as chortle, from chuckle and snort
[portmanteau (plural portmanteaux)– a large leather suitcase that opens into two hinged compartments. French portemanteau, from porter to carry + manteau cloak]

Two recent examples in the press:
    Hey, guess which relic from the 1970s is back. No, it's not polyester leisure wear. And it's not soft rock. It's stagflation. … when spiraling inflation joined forces with economic stagnation -- slow to no growth, combined with rising unemployment -- to create the portmanteau word economists still use today.
    – Motley Fool, Dec. 18, 2007

    "Debaucherism," a kind of spring break for working adults, was the defining North American travel trend of 2007, according to tourism analysts … . A portmanteau word combining debauchery and tourism, the hedonistic holiday concept has been taken up by travellers earning more disposable income … and wanting to get the most out of life before settling down … . Comprising primarily singles age 25 to 34, "debaucherists" are said to "travel ... to experience out-of-control fun, including drinking and non-stop partying." … Historic city tours are being supplanted by limo-driven tours to local strip clubs (Sinning in Vegas, Nev.). Room service will bring you food, but also erotic DVDs, velvet restraints and sex toys (Drake Hotel, Toronto).
    Spring break for grown-ups, Montreal Gazette, Dec. 15, 2007
 
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Searching for images of portmanteaux, I came upon one made by a Pennsylvania firm, The Sutler of Mount Misery.

That sounded almost Chaucerian as a craft or profession - "By appointment, Sutlers to Her Majesty.."

It means a provisioner, from a Dutch root meaning one who does the dirty work.


RJA
 
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And one I posted on in another thread

globesity- the global obesity trend
 
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Originally posted by wordcrafter:
back-formation – a word that is formed from what appears to be its derivative...for example.... emote[/i] from emotion


Emotion
, having (willingly or not) spawned the back-formation emote, now has the distinction of participating in two of this weeks words, since emoticon seems like it might be a portmanteau composed of emotion + icon. Smile
 
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Originally posted by wordcrafter:
bakuvrihi


Sanskrit compounds can get pretty complex...

mṛga-pracāra-sūcita-śvāpadam araṇyam
"the game in the forest has been tracked by the movements of the deer"
literally, "the forest (is) one-in-which-the-beasts-are-indicated-by-the-movements-of-the-deer"

pratyāpanna-cetano vayasyaḥ
"my friend has regained consciousness"
literally "(my) friend (is) one-by-whom-consciousness-is-regained"
 
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