Date: Thu, 25 Jun 1998 15:16:32 -0400
From: Beverly Flanigan
Subject: Re: "incent"

At 01:03 PM 6/25/98 -0400, Bethany Dumas wrote:
>On Thu, 25 Jun 1998, Beverly Flanigan wrote:
>> Comments for both Mark and Bethany: Backformations, like incentive, n. -->
>> incent, v. are common.
>Of course. I don't think anyone has questioned that.
In fact, someone did question that, hence the comments by Peter McGraw and me.

>> Nor is 'grow' as tr. verb new.
>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.

Well, my memory bank goes back to 1940 (I haven't checked the OED), and I
know that 'grow' + vegetation is at least that old. The specific term
'grow the economy' is apparently recent, and I too associate it with
Clinton (though a colleague here thinks that Greenspan originated it).
Perhaps you meant to apply "relatively new" to this term but not to the
transitive use of 'grow' in other contexts. I'll look for my notes on
other contextual uses of the term.
>Again, the problem I have with these terms is strictly semantic.
It's interesting to speculate on the logical extension of the semantic
range of the word:
grow vegetables, grow animals, grow concrete things, grow abstract notions....