Date: Sun, 11 Dec 1994 22:08:37 -0600
From: Dennis Baron baron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UX1.CSO.UIUC.EDU
Subject: Re: fulbright as verb
So far as I know, I'm the only one who has ever used fulbright as a verb.
And that was the first time I did it. It's sort of like Bogart, I guess.
Wow to be present at the very moment of neologism!
Makes you humble...
Let's not get too humble. We've all been present at moments of
neologism, which are neither as rare or as momentous as Birrell Walsh
suggests. People use language inventively all the time. It's natural
to do so. They invent words, phrases, expressions, idioms, frequently--
we all do. Many of these are oncers, created for a specific situation
and abandoned or forgotten thereafter. Most of them are oncers, in fact.
But every now and then a nonce word does spread, perhaps only a bit, to
a family group, or some friends or co-workers. And rarer still, a
neologism may spread beyond that limited circle and be picked up by a
large enough following to qualify as a new word.
Language change is _not_ unusual. Language stasis is.
debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]uiuc.edu (\ 217-333-2392
\'\ fax: 217-333-4321
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