August 16, 2006

Ah, words.

I found a great word today.


A neologism is a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created ("coined") — often to apply to new concepts, or to reshape older terms in newer language form. Neologisms are especially useful in identifying inventions, new phenomena, or old ideas which have taken on a new cultural context.

Neologisms are by definition "new", and as such are often directly attributable to a specific individual, publication, period or event. The term "neologism" was itself coined around 1800; so for some time in the early 19th Century, the word "neologism" was itself a neologism.

To "blog."
To "google."

And it makes me wonder whether we live in a time of unusually rapid distrobution of neologisms, due to the internet world and the disease of instant communication. I mean, could we reasonably assume that we "create" and add to the english language more than generations before us?

And is that a good thing? Neologisms aren't slang in this context. They aren't new words applied to old ideas. They are new words that are created to refer to new ideas that have previously been unknown. And that's fascinating.

Just when you think progress is impossible and the world moves in reverse, neologisms save the day.

Ah, just one more reason to surround myself with the written word rather than by real people.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home