TEAM REPORT 1

NEOLOGISMS

Inoke Funaki

Catherine Cho

 

Simon Na

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Dear Reader,

            The following information that you are about to read is about Neologisms.  What is a Neologism?  To give you a little bit of background as to what a Neologism is so that you have a better understanding, in Greek, ‘neo’ means new and ‘logos’ means word.  Basically a Neologism is a new word that has been created in association with new things, new processes, new concepts, or new ideas that are in need of a new name.  In this class I have gained a better understanding of the importance of neologisms and the great impact that something as small as a neologism can have in our society.  Recording and keeping track of Neologisms can help to better understand one’s thought processes at specific times of their lives.  Being able to understand one’s thought processes will enable us to better understand why people do the things they do.  Being able to better understand the reasons as to why people do the things they do will assist us in being able to better understand things such as how successful people become successful and how an ordinary and average human being can gradually turn into a criminal who is constantly on the run from the law.  So you can see how this snowball effect all begins with a simple Neologism.  Every action is preceded by a thought, every thought takes place in the brain, and every Neologism is right there in the brain where it all begins.       

 

NEO AWARENESS AMONG PEERS  by Catherine Cho

Prior to meeting Dr. Leon James, very few of us have ever been enlightened by the idea of Neologisms and their role in our everyday lives.  It is a simple concept, yet far from many people’s grasp, so here we were able to expose a few, lucky, random individuals with the idea and purpose of neologisms (neo’s). 

The first 10 neo’s were produced by Dr. James and are only a mere fraction of neo’s he has come up with in the last 50 years; the second set of neo’s are those which we have come up with, confirming their neo status through Google.  We predicted what our peers would rate both sets of neo’s according to this rating scale:

1=the likelihood that this is a neo is 80 % or higher (looks like a neo)

2=the likelihood that this is a neo is around 50 % (hard to tell if it is a neo or not)

3=the likelihood that this is a neo is less than 30% (doesn’t look like a neo)

 

Dr. James’ Neologisms from his Master Neochart

Team Predicted Rating                         Neo                                     Peer Average Rating

1

Anatomical layers of the human mind form its consciousness.

1.33

3

Beauty is the product of love and wisdom.

2

2

Both types of loves exist in the human mind from birth.

1.67

1

Every evil love has sway over every human being—until regeneration.

1

2

Love produces beauty through wisdom.

2

1

No love exists that is not heavenly from the Grand Human or hellish from the Grand Monster.

1

2

Recognizing the good of that love appears in the other person.

2.67

1

The beginning purpose and the end purpose of all creation is conjugial love.

1.67

3

We are at war against our self and within our self.

2.67

2

We speak according to our motives and intentions, which come from love.

2

 

Team Constructed Neologisms

Team Predicted Rating                          Neo                                    Peer Average Rating

2

You must love to love in order to love and be loved.

2.33

1

Love lives in both the conscious and unconscious mind.

2

3

Marriage is work before it is play.

3

2

Love is truth and follows you everywhere.

1.33

2

Love the fire that keeps you warm.

2.67

3

Incessant love that rages on.

2.67

2

The true test is the true will to commit.

1.33

2

Don’t burn in evil love.

2

1

Strive to love to reach your heaven.

2

3

Love does to our minds what food and water does to our body.

2.33

 

DATA DISCUSSION

No love exists that is not heavenly from the Grand Human or hellish from the Grand Monster.

–“This just sounds super original…I’ve never heard of a Grand Human or Grand Monster before…”  (Subject gave a 1 rating.)

The beginning purpose and the end purpose of all creation is conjugial love.

-“It sounds pretty textbook, or something a lot of people say except for the conjugial(?) part…is that even a word?  Anyways, I give it a 2 because of that.”

We are at war against our self and within our self.

-“Oh man, this just sounds so right.  Like if I didn’t hear it from someone, it has to be in a movie or song or something.”  (Subject gave a 3 rating.)

Marriage is work before it is play.

-“Cliché? Yeah, definitely heard it before.”  (Subject gave a 3 rating.)

Don’t burn in evil love.

-“It’s weird because one word, I think, makes a difference when I think if it’s a neo or not.  Like for this one, I think love makes the difference—evil love, oxy moron perhaps?  If it just said ‘don’t burn in evil’ I think I would’ve given it a 3 but yeah…”  (Subject gave a 2 rating.)

The true test is the true will to commit.

-“It just sounds kinda awkward.”  (Subject gave a 1 rating.)

           

Above are a few samples of the reasons provided by our peer individuals as to why they gave certain neo’s the ratings that they did.  I found it interesting to see that most often times, when a subject gave a 3 rating, they gave it rather quickly, not thinking too much about the neo or repeating it to themselves.  A lot of their reasons were because they said that the neo sounded familiar or like a universal idea that’s been shared before.  Some even based their ratings on whether or not they agreed with the neo or not. 

When a subject gave a 1 rating, they usually took longer to respond, repeating the neo to themselves, usually focusing on a particular word or fragment of the neo.  For the neo’s that received all 1’s from each subject, it was interesting to see facial expressions change as if the neo introduced a new idea to them. 

In conclusion, the ratings given to us by our subjects seemed to be based on their ability to relate to the neo and their familiarity with what the neo is trying to say.

 

NEOLOGISMS by Inoke Funaki

Just as I was about to begin reading the introduction to the Master Neochart, there were many thoughts and questions running through my mind as to why Dr. Leon James spoke of Neologisms so much in class? What is the big deal about Neologisms that I don’t understand?  What is he planning on doing with the thousands upon thousands of Neo’s that he is collecting?  What exactly is a Neologism?  And can I somehow make money from collecting Neo’s the same way I could make money from collecting cans and bottles?  “Neo’s are just words and phrases.  I don’t see any point in recording them and trying to learn about them,” says my close friend Lilika when asked what she thought about Neologisms following a brief neo-explanation, “they are just words.”  Just about every single one of my friends that I spoke to about Neologisms had a reaction similar to that of Lilika because they could not see the big picture.  All they saw were mere words and phrases.  “It just seems like something too simple and actually kind of silly to have any kind of impact on our society and affect my life,” my cousin Siale commented after being asked if he thought that Neologisms could have some kind of impact on our society and his personal life.  I myself like Lilika and Siale did not fully understand the importance of Neologisms when I was first learning about it in class.  In fact, like the others, I too had not even heard the word Neologism before coming into this class. 

A Neologism is a word or phrase that describes a concept for the first time.  Every and any person can produce a Neologism through speaking, writing, or even thinking.  They can be short or they can be long.  I learned from this article that the practice of gathering these Neologisms can definitely become an important and useful tool in studying the human mind.  In the beginning of the article I learned that everyone can benefit from the practice of collecting their own Neo’s because it can serve as a form of “biographical record keeping.”  I see it as being kind of like a journal or diary that you can go back to read and keep track of one’s self, one’s perceptions, and experiences.  Neologistic records are one’s inner consciousness.  It really made sense to me when I read in the article that “expressions people type out, or think and say, is not a random event that just happens without a specific cause making it happen.  Every event we can observe must have a cause.”  So before someone types something out, writes something down, or says something vocally, he/she must first think about it.  And by studying these collected Neologisms, one will be able to learn much and gain a much better understanding about human thought processes.  This definitely can have an impact and play a role in society because as we study Neologisms and gain a better understanding of the human mind, we will be able to apply that knowledge into our society to make it better, which is the bigger picture that I could not see beyond the mere words and phrases in Neologisms when I was first learning of Neologisms.  “I can see now how keeping a record of Neologisms can serve as personal records of my consciousness allowing me to reflect on my life,” said Siale later into our discussion about Neologisms.  I too have gained a broader understanding of Neologisms and how such a small thing that is seen by most as being very insignificant, can have such a big impact on me and have a rippling effect on our society if we apply it into our lives.      

 

UNDERSTANDING TRENDY NEOLOGISMS by Adrienne Lehrer by Simon Na

Lehrer's article focuses on the blending of words and how neologisms are formed of them. He notes that this blending is originally not words blended together to increase efficiency, as in “Acronyms like scuba and ID, clippings like lab (< laboratory, labrador) and vet (< veterinarian, veteran), and some blends like fortran (<formula + translation) and transceiver (< transmitter + receiver)” but are instead harder to understand, at least at their first introduction. He then continues by saying that this difficulty in understanding is not meant for rudeness or confusion, but is used by the speaker with the assumption that the hearer can understand what the blend is supposed to mean. The words are used to “catch the hearer's attention.” “Many of the neologisms are witty; they involve word play, such as puns and allusions, as well as the puzzle of novelty. Therefore, when the hearer figures out the intended meaning, he or she is amused and perhaps feels clever for having 'gotten' the point.”

Seeing this, Lehrer experimented by giving various word blends that they defined for the participants in order to find if the participants could identify the two words used. After assorted experiments with these word blends, several hypotheses are put forward, but the most significant is that their testing method may have been slightly flawed. They attempted to test reaction time and believed that blends had progressed to the point where, rather than being new words, they would be understood by the participants as quickly as complex and compound words. Finding this to be false, a new hypothesis was made.

Rather than a neologism being something that is easily understood, “If the goal is to capture someone's attention with a clever or puzzling new word, a slowed-down response is desirable; it suggests that the hearer/reader is paying attention to the form of the stimulus.” He does note at the end, however, that “the results of these experiments should be viewed as positive from neologism creator’s viewpoint. Hearers and readers must figure out what the neologism means, and in the case of blends, what the contributing words are. But in addition, the creator wants the neologism to be appreciated linguistically and remembered. And this process takes a little bit of time.”

 

NEOLOGISMS OF INTERNET ENGLISH: SOCIOLINGUISTIC ASPECTS OF DEVELOPMENT by Goda Rumsiene

Rumsienë speaks of neologism creation in the realm of the Internet, a primarily non-auditory, written language which has some differences from normal spoken English. Rather than e-mails, instant messaging, or online journals, he studies Internet Relay Chat (IRC) in his study of neologisms. Rumsienë notes that Internet English is highly free in terms of its acceptance of individuality as many of the rules of Internet English are unwritten and can therefore be ignored, allowing for far more variety. Rather than creating neologisms for semantic reasons due to changing rules, he states that “whole alterations are largely introduced for the sake of alterations themselves, just as an act of economy and amusement.”

The types of neologism formation that he looks over are Conversion, changing the meaning of existing words and using them in novel ways (Google going from a noun to a verb 'Have you googled it?'), Affixation, altering words by merely adding some type of affix (archive's opposite being simple unarchive), and also compounding words, one method of which is “punning based on phonetic similarity or identity of the juncture sounds, e.g. japanimation (Japanese + animation).”

The Internet thus seems like a rich locale for new neologisms, although even then, many of those neologisms follow fairly set rules.

 

ON THE THEORY OF NEOLOGISMS AND NONCE-FORMATIONS by Pavol Stekauer

Much more heavy going than the other reports, Stekauer differentiates between Nonces, words that are freshly coined, and words that are actually accepted and in use. The article attempts to solidly seperate the two from each other, instead of the mishmash of vague opinions that various others who have studied this have put together.

Due to the heavy nature of this paper, I haven't been able to get a full understanding of the technical aspects of what he's saying, however, I can state that there are quite a few interesting points in this article.

 

CONCLUSIONS

            To say that the topic of neologisms has been neglected is not something I can agree with. Whether the research is something is something that is viewed with the level of importance it actually should have is also debatable. However, I must state that Stekauer's idea of a differentiation between Nonces and Neologisms is quite significant. New words, phrases, or otherwise are always being brought into being, however not all of them actually bring about change in language that neologisms seem to bring about. Some are, in fact, pointless coinings of words that will not even live long enough to be words. One could argue that a random, nonsensical string of letters, could be a neologism despite the fact that it has no basis in language in the least.

            The study of neologisms should then be limited first to figuring out exactly what is a neologism, or at least which words out there are actual neologisms. Popular culture seems to play a primary role in the coining and prorogation of neologisms, not only because television, music, movies, and other media are widespread, but also because those who write much of this are witty and clever, understanding what will cause people to laugh and start using the words that they created.

            Neologisms are important. With language being a living, growing thing, the new parts of it should be noted and understood where they come from because words and phrases that become popular are oftentimes a good indicator of what the people of that time and that place believe to be important.

 

ADVICE FOR YOUNGER GENERATIONS

 

            For all the younger generations that are reading this report, my first and most important words of advice that I would like to share with you not only applies to you when you do your report for this class but also for everything else in your lives:  Don’t Procrastinate!  Unless you enjoy rushing things and enjoy staying up late, get your work done AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and you will be able to enjoy the rest of your time doing other things or you can go back and revise your work.  Also take advantage of the reading presentations and group discussions in class because they are great in many ways.  You learn better and more when you are teaching a concept that you have learned about and you can add in your own thoughts and ideas from your perspective, others that participate in the discussion will also add their own ideas and thoughts from their perspective that you possibly didn’t see, and together all are enlightened.  It will also help to improve your vocational skills and speaking in front of groups.  Other advice I would like to share is: show up to class every day, stay on top of the readings, participate in class, look both ways before crossing the street, brush and floss your teeth daily, and do a good turn daily.  Good Luck! J          

 

REFERENCES

Half a Century of Science in Psychology: Scientific Neologisms Coined by Leon James

Understanding Trendy Neologisms by Adrienne Lehrer

Neologisms of Internet English: Sociolinguistic Aspects of Development by Goda Rumsiene

On The Theory of Neologisms and Nonce-Formations by Pavol Stekauer

 

 

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