Date: Fri, 26 Jun 1998 11:43:10 -0400
From: Fred Shapiro
Subject: Re: "incent"

On Thu, 25 Jun 1998, Bethany K. Dumas wrote:

> I suggested that it is "relatively new," and teh evidence that I have
> seen suggests that it is. I don't recall any instances in the 50s or 60s
> or even 70s. I associate its use with Clinton's term in office. Can
> anyone provide decades-earlier examples? I would be interested.

The earliest evidence I can find on Nexis is from Chemical Week, May 6,

"If you set realistic performance targets with enough stretch in them,
then you're trying to 'incent' the participants on things that are within
their control," says Speck.

To me the term sounds like something that might be used by economists, but
I find no early examples from a search of JSTOR, which contains extensive
historical runs of economics journals.

Perhaps Jim Rader can tell us what Merriam-Webster has as the earliest
example for _incent_ in their files.

Fred R. Shapiro Coeditor (with Jane Garry)
Associate Librarian for Public Services TRIAL AND ERROR: AN OXFORD
and Lecturer in Legal Research ANTHOLOGY OF LEGAL STORIES
Yale Law School Oxford University Press, 1998
e-mail: fred.shapiro[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] ISBN 0-19-509547-2