Neologisms

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Neologisms

Postby aleph_one » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:01 pm UTC

What feature do words from the first list share that ones on the second list don't?

'Yes' instances:
    backronym
    cheeseburger
    chocoholic
    gaydar
    gerrymander
    mathlete
    monokini
    telethon
'No' instances:
    blamestorm
    genericide
    metrosexual
    paratrooper
    psychonaut
    technophobe
    wikipedia
    wordsmith
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Re: Neologisms

Postby smakibbfb » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:37 am UTC

Spoiler:
Don't know exactly how to say it precisely, but the "Yes" instances all feature horrible butcherings of words, using non standard/blatantly wrong prefixes or suffixes. Such as in chocoholic - a word that always annoyed me. The word alcoholic means alcohol addict. The word chocoholic contains most of the word alcohol even though it has nothing to do with being addiced to chocolate. The second set is taking standard word endings and using them properly. I dont know anwhere near enough to say, but i'd guess the second set can be derived directly and sensibly from latin or greek or something, whereas the first set are just made up
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Re: Neologisms

Postby LucasBrown » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:56 am UTC

Just a quibble about the title--"gerrymander" has been around for about two centuries; it hardly counts as a neologism anymore.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby desetgled » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:11 pm UTC

smakibbfb wrote:
Spoiler:
Don't know exactly how to say it precisely, but the "Yes" instances all feature horrible butcherings of words, using non standard/blatantly wrong prefixes or suffixes. Such as in chocoholic - a word that always annoyed me. The word alcoholic means alcohol addict. The word chocoholic contains most of the word alcohol even though it has nothing to do with being addiced to chocolate. The second set is taking standard word endings and using them properly. I dont know anwhere near enough to say, but i'd guess the second set can be derived directly and sensibly from latin or greek or something, whereas the first set are just made up


Your explanation doesn't work for telethon, blamestorm, or metrosexual. It's also awfully subjective.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby smakibbfb » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:30 pm UTC

Spoiler:
It clearly works for telethon. The "thon" part, indicating a really long thing that is taking place, comes from marathon, which is the name of a place. Thon doesn't have meaning on its own.

None of the first words contain 'proper' endings that legitimately should be added as suffixes. All the second list do. Blamestorm is fine. You can have a storm of anything you want. Metrosexual is fine.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby jestingrabbit » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:52 pm UTC

That does seem right smakibbfb.
Spoiler:
None of the second halves of words in the Yes list are proper suffixes, whereas all of the No list are.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby Ankit1010 » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:37 am UTC

A neologism is a "newly coined term, word or phrase, that may be in the process of entering common use, but has not yet been accepted into mainstream..". Like smakibbfb said, the Yes words don't seem right, so they must be the neologism. i.e they are in the Yes list as the answer to the question "is this word a neologism?". The No words are commonly accepted words.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby jestingrabbit » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:53 am UTC

@Ankit: Cheeseburger isn't in general usage?
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Re: Neologisms

Postby Qaanol » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:08 pm UTC

aleph_one wrote:What feature do words from the first list share that ones on the second list don't?

'Yes' instances:
    backronym
    cheeseburger
    chocoholic
    gaydar
    gerrymander
    mathlete
    monokini
    telethon
'No' instances:
    blamestorm
    genericide
    metrosexual
    paratrooper
    psychonaut
    technophobe
    wikipedia
    wordsmith


smakibbfb wrote:
Spoiler:
Don't know exactly how to say it precisely, but the "Yes" instances all feature horrible butcherings of words, using non standard/blatantly wrong prefixes or suffixes. Such as in chocoholic - a word that always annoyed me. The word alcoholic means alcohol addict. The word chocoholic contains most of the word alcohol even though it has nothing to do with being addiced to chocolate. The second set is taking standard word endings and using them properly. I dont know anwhere near enough to say, but i'd guess the second set can be derived directly and sensibly from latin or greek or something, whereas the first set are just made up


Spoiler:
So are we calling them malamanteaux or what?
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Re: Neologisms

Postby Adam H » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:54 pm UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:That does seem right smakibbfb.
Spoiler:
None of the second halves of words in the Yes list are proper suffixes, whereas all of the No list are.
Spoiler:
Does pedia mean something outside of encyclopedia? It's a prefix for words pertaining to children (pediatrics, pedophile, etc.), but I don't know about it used as a suffix...

I think burger is a legitimate suffix. X formed into or added to a patty is an Xburger. Well, ham is an obvious exception...
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Re: Neologisms

Postby jestingrabbit » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:17 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:
Spoiler:
Does pedia mean something outside of encyclopedia? It's a prefix for words pertaining to children (pediatrics, pedophile, etc.), but I don't know about it used as a suffix...
Spoiler:
You can read about the etymolody of of encyclopedia here. A reasonable meaning for wikipedia would be "Wiki of education", which is also what the individual parts of the words mean. -pedia, whilst it has the same root as pedo-, meaning child, in this context means of learning, as in pedagogical, for instance.

Adam H wrote:I think burger is a legitimate suffix. X formed into or added to a patty is an Xburger. Well, ham is an obvious exception..
I was going to say "only if ham is a prefix" but you beat me to it. Burger has only acquired that meaning by dropping ham-. "cheeseburger" feels more like a mangling of words than an unmangled joining of prefix and suffix.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby Tirian » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:08 pm UTC

Spoiler:
"Hamburger" means "from Hamburg" (even though it wasn't), so the suffix "-burger" is not legitimate.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby TaylorP » Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:23 am UTC

Tirian wrote:
Spoiler:
"Hamburger" means "from Hamburg" (even though it wasn't), so the suffix "-burger" is not legitimate.


Spoiler:
Exactly. "Burger" sounds like a proper word/suffix because it's used often. It's like taking a similarly named meat product, say the Frankfurter, and calling variants of it a porkfurter, chickenfurter, alligatorfurter or whatnot. Nobody does that because "furter" is part of a name, not a suffix. "Burger" is the same.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby aleph_one » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:21 am UTC

Since multiple poster starting with smakibbfb have given the correct answer, I'll post the solution as I worded it:
Spoiler:
The formation of words in the first list required breaking up existing morphemes (units of meaning), whereas words on the second list were formed solely by combining existing morphemes.

For instance, 'monokini' was formed from 'bikini' by replacing bi- with mono- . This derivation assumes that bikini uses the morpheme bi- meaning two (as two-piece swimsuit), but actually named for the Bikini Atoll, a site of nuclear bomb testing. The name of the atoll is from the Polynesian language of its inhabitants, and therefore unrelated to the Latin prefix 'bi'. The results is that "-kini" has basically become a suffix for 'swimsuit'.

Note that words in the second list just have to use existing morphemes; their correct combination is up to debate. The meaning of some words in the second list stretch that of the parts combined . For instance, `metrosexual', by analogy to similar compounds, would be 'someone attracted to metros', and 'genericide' would be 'the death of a generic', not 'the death of a brand by becoming generic'.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby Qaanol » Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:21 pm UTC

TaylorP wrote:It's like taking a similarly named meat product, say the Frankfurter, and calling variants of it a porkfurter, chickenfurter, alligatorfurter or whatnot.

I’m going to start doing this.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby Adam H » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:27 pm UTC

hehe i honestly thought the word burger came first, then ham- was added to it. But the wool has been pulled from my eyes and I see the truth clearly now!
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Re: Neologisms

Postby jestingrabbit » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:09 pm UTC

Well, the word burgher, meaning a citizen of a town, first appeared in middle english (some time between 1100 and 1500). Hamburg's name derives from the name of a fortress, Hammaburg, where -burg denotes a fortress, built in the 800's.

To conclude then, the name Hamburg precedes even burgher, though burgher arrives not by butchering hamburg, but from the word burg.

I did that research earlier, so I may as well lay it out for you all.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby Sandor » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:50 pm UTC

I don't agree with all those. Two that should have been on the 'no' list:

Telethon is from 1949, but the -athon/-thon morpheme (denoting prolonged activity) predates that: walkathon (1931), skatathon (1933); talkathon (1948). So the morpheme already existed when "Telethon" was coined.

Likewise, the -aholic/-oholic morpheme already existed when chocoholic was coined: sugarholic (1965), foodoholic (sic., 1965); later in workaholic (1968), golfaholic (1971), chocoholic (1971), and shopaholic (1984).


I would have thought the meaning of a morpheme is crucial, and just because a part of a word is spelled the same as an existing morpheme doesn't mean it is that morpheme. So one that should have been on the 'yes' list:

Paratrooper is a blend of parachute and trooper. The para- (relating to parachutes) in paratrooper is not the same morpheme as the para- (defense against) in parachute. The coining of paratrooper effectively created a new morpheme (since reused in paraglider, parasail, etc.) and should have been on the 'yes' list.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby desetgled » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:18 pm UTC

By that definition, "blamestorming" is also on the wrong list. The term "brainstorm" to mean "a group of people coming up with ideas" is actually a single morpheme, as the word was created as a marketing term used to sell a book. The unrelated morphemes "brain" and "storm" do not fit together with this definition on their own (in fact, a brainstorm meant something entirely different before "Applied Imagination" was published). Thus, "blamestorming", being defined group activity of assigning blame, should be on the first list.

I also question the placement of "gaydar", since radar gets its name from "radio detection and ranging". Thus, using gaydar to mean "gay detection and ranging" isn't breaking up the morpheme of radar, it's actually creating a different word from the same etymology.

Going even further, I question the placement of "backronym". Since -onym is a legitimate suffix meaning "name" (ex: homonym, toponym, etc), you can easily combine "backwards" and "-onym" without breaking up any existing morpheme.
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Re: Neologisms

Postby jaap » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:07 am UTC

desetgled wrote:Going even further, I question the placement of "backronym". Since -onym is a legitimate suffix meaning "name" (ex: homonym, toponym, etc), you can easily combine "backwards" and "-onym" without breaking up any existing morpheme.

But here it is -ronym that is being used. The legitimate suffix is -nym, not -ronym or -onym (the o belongs with the well-known prefixes topo- and homo-).
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Re: Neologisms

Postby desetgled » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:13 pm UTC

jaap wrote:But here it is -ronym that is being used. The legitimate suffix is -nym, not -ronym or -onym (the o belongs with the well-known prefixes topo- and homo-).


I'm going to have to disagree about the suffix. The "o" definitely belongs there. Without it, antonym would be antinym, and anonymous would be anymous. Various dictionaries will also confirm this. Also, the "r" from "BACKwaRds" would make "backronym" a viable contraction.

The more important part, though, is to realize that "acronym" is not a single morpheme, but two. So breaking it apart makes backronym a poor match for the poster's definitions of the first category.

Even more importantly, this leads back to my original opinion of the definition for the categories: it's awfully subjective.
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