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Investigation on Neologisms

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Karl Scadding

Investigation on Neologisms

Over time many different words are created, through technology, events, people and for no particular reason.  However, not all of these words are created from nothing, and there is often a reason with a method for the creation of a word.

The word mobile has recently been established in a new way.  For many years, the word “mobile” has been used as an adjective, as in “that person is mobile”.  However, with the introduction of new technology, in the form of a mobile phone, and it becoming a mass-market product.  The mobile had immediately gone through a word conversion, going from being an adjective to a noun.  Over time, the use of the “phone” part of “mobile phone” has been clipped, due to the constant need to be able to say words as quickly as possible, in a short amount of time.  It is likely that the “mobile phone” will continue to be known as the “mobile”, as long as the technology carries on.  With the popularity of them as high as it is now, and if the normal landline phone is anything to go by, it is likely that the word “mobile” will continue to be used in this sense, and even if the technology of them keeps on improving, it would take a great deal of time before the new technology would eventually lead to a complete change to the word “mobile” as it is currently known.

Technology is a very consistent source of new words.

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With the emergence of a new tennis star in the UK, and his rise to fame through Wimbledon, Tim Henman was an overnight success.  With this rise to fame came a huge following for him, especially when it came to the spectacular event of Wimbledon.  When it came to describing this fanaticism, a word was created, and that was “Henmania”.  This word in itself is blending two words together, “Henman” and “mania”.  The word “mania” in itself is not a word used on it’s own.  It is the suffix meaning “an intense enthusiasm”.  With this the word “Henmanmania” could have been created as a compound word, however, this is a rather awkward form, and with this came a blending of the word, and the “man” part of both “Henman” and “Mania” has become shared by both, and used in a form that is easily recognisable as well as being easy to say.  The word Henmania is unlikely to remain a word in the English Language.  As Tim Henman gets ever closer to finishing his career in tennis, it is likely that another British player will rise to fame in the field of tennis, and if they prove to be popular, a new word will be created in the English Language to describe the popularity of that particular player.  Henmania is likely to be a word that
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The increase in use of computers and the Internet has led to another variant of a word being created.  Much like the meaning of the phrase “couch potato”, a word more specific to computers, and in particular the Internet, has the “mouse potato” phrase been coined.  This is only a minor change from the word “couch potato” which in its original form was used to describe a person who would sit in front of the television for extended periods of time.  Already this phrase has fallen out of use in everyday language – but it is likely that in the future as computers become even more widespread than they currently are, either the word will be re-introduced into the flow of English Language, or a new word will be used that basically describes the same thing as the word “mouse potato” does.

One more word that has only just started being used in the English Language is the word “download”.   Brought about through the ever-increasing use of the Internet, the meaning of the word is “To transfer (data or programs) from a server or host computer to one's own computer or device.”  The word in the past had already existed, with it’s interpretation merely meaning the same as the word “upload” does, but in a physical sense, rather than the computer software, programs and files that are scattered throughout the Internet.

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