Fifty Years among the New Words
American Speech, the journal of the American Dialect Society has for fifty years included a regular collection of neologisms called 'Among the New Words.' A recent issue, for example, includes four quotations for 'date rape,' two for 'designated driver,' and six for "DNA fingerprinting,' 'intifada,' and other current terms. Complete documentation is given for all citations, which are fuller than those given in most dictionaries and both British and American sources have been consulted. At the time these terms appeared in 'Among the New Words,' they appeared in none of the major dictionaries. A survey of 'Among the New Words' can therefore reveal much about the origin and early use of these expressions and the social climate in which they prospered. Now for the first time, this valuable resource will be available in one volume. The original articles themselves are reproduced and John Algeo has prepared a complete index, with glossary, to every word and expression included in the 113 installments of 'Among the New Words.' In addition, he has written several introductory essays exploring both the linguistic and social implications of new words as revealed in this collection. No other collection of new words has been so systematically compiled over such a long period, demonstrating changing word patterns and social norms over five decades. None has been prepared with such thorough and accurate documentation. It is a unique repository of language use from 1941-1991.