Etymology (Meaning of Words)/Fake Words
Why does the media continually "invent" words? Not only has this practice become common over the past several years, but Internet dictionaries are faked with backdated information to agree with the media.
To prove my theory, I purchased a Webster's Unabridged Dictionary from the year of my birth to prove to myself that I'm not nearly as ignorant as the media would have me believe.
The classic example of this practice is "vet". The Internet Webster's indicates that since 1891 the word has meant:
"to evaluate for possible approval or acceptance <vet the candidates for a position>"
This is a lie. The 1959 Webster's unabridged dictionary says "to examine or treat as a veterinarian does". Aside from that usage, it is only used to refer to a veteran.
My newest "media word" (that term is my invention) is vexillology. It does not exist in my 1959 Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, yet online Webster's claims it was used in 1959.
In addition to my purchase of a 1959 Unabridged Dictionary, I also purchased a 1980 Taber's Medical Dictionary which contains no mention of: COPD or Mesothelioma--circa 1899 according to the Internet, but not mentioned in either of my dictionaries.
My other "favorite" is vegan. I found an old dictionary in which it was pronounced VEG-in....like vegetable. Of course now it's pronounced VEE-gan.
So...what gives? Who is behind this movement to create more words? What purpose does it serve?
Hello, I hope that you're having a fine week,
All language evolves. Every new word since time immemorial was created by some person or persons. At what point do we say Halt! The official language will end now and every word created hereafter is fake?
For decades Barnhart's Dictionary Companion assessed the many new words that entered the English language over a period of time and decided which of those words had 'legs'. (that's a new usage in itself! the word 'legs' has come to mean endurance, staying quality)
Barnhart's batting average was superb; They chose the new words which they felt would endure and compiled them into their Dictionary Companion. English dictionaries annexed their own editions with Barnhart supplements and the new words became acceptable and official, if you will.
Dictionaries change, pronunciations change and so do spellings. Are the new ones 'fake'? Media introduces, the public decides. I used the word 'morph' several times this morning. You'll find 'morph' in the 1970 edition of Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary. BUT! It is labeled a noun: "a sequence of phonemes presumably an allomorph but that is not considered as assigned to any particular morpheme." Today we use 'morph' almost exclusively as a verb meaning 'to alter or change over time into something new". Someone, somewhere started to use it...others found it useful and descriptive, ergo! the language changed.
'Google' is a trade name currently used generically and created to describe a new phenomenon.
If you were to google "Words introduced by Variety' you would see many words introduced by the show business newspaper Variety; words not included in the old dictionaries but in general usage today.
Thank you for your interesting question
The best to you always, CP