Information about Neologism In linguistics, a neologism is a recently-coined word. It also is the result of the act of inventing a word or phrase. Additionally it can imply the use of old words in a new sense (i. e. , giving new meanings for existing words or phrases). Neologisms are especially useful in identifying new inventions, new phenomena, or old ideas which have taken on a new cultural context. The word “neologism” was coined around the end of the1800 and was a neologism itself.
Neologisms tend to occur more often in cultures which are rapidly changing, and also in situations where there is easy and fast propagation of information. Neologisms are often created by combining existing words or giving words new and unique suffixes or prefixes. Neologisms often enter the language through mass media, the Internet, or through word of mouth – especially, many linguists suspect, by younger people. Virtually every word in a language was, at some time, a neologism, though many are quite ancient.
Neologistic words or phrases themselves are borrowed from the older word, when required, to define the new concepts. Neologistic words or phrases which are combined are often shortened or lengthened. Neologisms can also be created through abbreviation, acronym, by intentionally rhyming with existing words, or simply through playing with sounds. Neologisms often become accepted parts of the language. Other times, however, they disappear from common usage. Whether or not a neologism continues as part of the language depends on many factors, probably the most important of which is acceptance by the public.
Acceptance by linguistic experts and incorporation into dictionaries also plays a part, as does whether the phenomenon described by a neologism remains current, thus continuing to need a descriptor. It is unusual, however, for a word to enter common use if it does not resemble another word or words in an identifiable way. (In these cases, strange new words succeed because the idea behind them is especially memorable or exciting). When a word or phrase is no longer “new,” it is no longer a neologism.
Neologisms may take decades to become “old”, though. Opinions differ on exactly how old a word must be to no longer be considered a neologism (to some, cultural acceptance also plays a influencial role than time in this regard; other dissagree, stating the amount of time the word exists in use is the important factor). Versions of Neologism * Stable – “Old”; Gained some recognizable and likely somewhat lasting foothold (i. e. , mainstreamed). * Diffused – “Young”; Reached a significant audience, but not mainstreamed. Unstable – “Newborn”; Proposed or rarely being used but meet an expressive need. Types of Neologism * Scientific – words or phrases created to describe new scientific discoveries. * Technological – words or phrases created to describe inventions. * Political – words or phrases created to make some kind of political or rhetorical point, perhaps with an eye to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis * Pop-culture – words or phrases evolved from mass media content or used to describe popular culture phenomenon (which may be considered a sub section of slang). Imported – words or phrases originating in another language. Typically they are used to express ideas that have no equivalent term in the native language. “Yesterday’s neologisms, like yesterday’s jargon, are often today’s essential vocabulary. ” – Academic Instincts, 2001 Compare with: portmanteau, euphemism, loanword, buzzword, word coinage, compound noun and adjective, jargon, slang.
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