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“the illusion that this word, this new word, will help”

June 6, 2013

Some acronyms are just unfortunate: PTA covers both the Parent-Teacher Association and the Prevention of Terrorism Act; MOS is both Manual of Style and Military Occupational Specialty in the US Army. Acronyms come cheaply: buy one, get one free.

Unlike the self-conscious poet, the technologist, like his capitalist brothers, the ad man and the newsman, never has to flash his poetic license. In fact, the newsmen of the nineteenth century went far beyond the shy poets with such license to invent new lexicons. Even today, the New York Times retains the right to control and reject vocabulary in the common stream. It refuses to publish the word ‘tweet’ in articles, for example. We could invent our own term for this phenomenon: ‘terminology deniers’ or ‘neologosceptics.’

Read More | “Neologism: How Words Do Things With Words” | Maryam Monalisa Gharavi | The White Review