Neologisms

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  • Topic: Neologism, Portmanteau, Word
  • Pages : 2 (558 words )
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  • Published : December 2, 2012
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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...
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