See also: Neochart by Sub-Categories || My Favorite and Major Neos by Year
Introduction to the Master Neochart
A Definition of Neologism
Consider this little experiment
Syntactic Levels of Neologisms
In the course of collecting the various new expressions that appear in my writings, I came to realize that neologisms are indeed new or novel constructions, but they are the norm, rather than the exception. Every speaker and writer, even every thinker, produces neologisms as a normal by product of speaking, writing, and thinking.
I offer this electronic book with two purposes in mind. First, as an autobiographical case history of neologistic productions in the science area of psychology, tracing the appearance of scientific neologisms over a period of half a century of my publications. The three main periods and topic areas are specified in The Master Neochart (this document). Second, I hope this will encourage others to keep track and collect the continuous production of their neologisms. I think that the practice of collecting neologisms may become an important and useful area of study of the human mind (see the Chart entry on Community Cataloguing Practices). The future databases of neologisms may contain not merely a listing of them, but their definition and explication, the biographical conditions of their creation, such as date, topical context within which each appears, tracings of its diffusion through their adoptions by others, collateral and independent constructions of homonymous neologisms, and so on.
I believe that everyone can benefit from the practice of collecting their own neologistic productions over time. It is a form of biographical record keeping. It is also a form of cultural history, a charting of community cataloguing practices by which human beings keep track of their perceptions, insights, experiences, thus life itself.
Neologistic records, graphs, and charts of a group or community, make visible the topic focus of its people. It is their very consciousness -- their preoccupations, their interests, their values, their desires. Neolgistic records create a spiritual geography of our vertical community depicting thought and meaning, idea and truth. No doubt a “Human Atlas of Neologisms” may eventually be derived from world-wide neologistic databases, that can show the mental unity of the human race, and possibly, the directionality of its spiritual destiny.
I encourage you to begin keeping track today!
In the early 1950's I was an undergraduate majoring in psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. It was my second year of living in an English speaking community and my freshman year was a real challenge. English was my 11th language -- for the record, in order: Yiddish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Rumanian, Flemish, French, Latin, Greek, German, Spanish, English. Since my specialty in psychology was in the area of psycholinguistics, people sometimes asked me if I became a psycholinguist because of so many languages I know. I was always afraid that people might find out that I really only knew one language, English, which I started learning in high school as a foreign language before I enrolled in college in an English university. I stopped using all the other languages, which I only knew as a child. Besides a little French that's left over, an adult I have been pretty much unilingual.
In 1958 as a junior in college, I was hired as a research assistant by Dr. Wallace E. Lambert. This started my official career as a scientist, researcher, and author of articles and books in psychology. In my undergraduate honors thesis I proposed a new explanation for how practice in one modality can have effects on another modality. I demonstrated that hearing a new word spoken on a tape several times will lower the visual recognition threshold for that word. Using the new (1949) neurophysiological theory of Donald Hebb (whose seminar we were required to take as graduate students), I argued that repeated auditory input of a word would create neural pathways high up in the central system hierarchy, so that there would be overlapping priming effects across modality of input. I made a diagram to show the relation and called it cross-modality transfer effects. That was my first neologism, which the dictionary defines as the creation of a new word or expression.
When I google the expression “cross-modality transfer” I find out that there are 55 sites or documents that use this expression, and one of them is a page showing the abstract of a journal article titled “Cross-modality transfer between pictures and their names” (1980). There appear to be no connection between my neologism and the use of this expression by others after that. Since I have constructed many neologisms in my half-century career as scientist and author, I am delighted to check up on them from time to time, to see what happened to them, and how they have diffused into the minds and writings of others.
My most successful neologism is the expression “semantic satiation” which I constructed in my Ph.D. Dissertation in 1960. While I was working on my doctoral dissertation I co-authored several research articles with Dr. W. E. Lambert, whose grant funded my undergraduate and graduate assistantships. In my dissertation I defined semantic satiation as the reduction in intensity of meaning of a word when it is repeated, heard, or inspected. I related it to the reduced neural firing caused by massed repetitions of an invariant stimulus input. I developed the generality and theoretical significance of the concept in my Master’s Thesis (1960), and then in my Doctoral Dissertation (1962 at McGill University). Subsequently I co-authored several more articles with W. E. Lambert, and several on my own. There is a sense of delight I am experiencing, and awe, when I google “semantic satiation” today (in 2008) and find over 2,000 results listed.
Interestingly, a related neologism I coined in the same dissertation was "cross-satiation", which was short for "cross-linguistic satiation effect." I demonstrated that when a bilingual person repeats a word in one language, the intensity of the meaning of the translated word in the second language, shows the satiation effect as well. This cross linguistic transfer effect of neural fatigue has apparently not been investigated by anyone since (however this conclusion is based on a Google search only).
I have not made a systematic study of this, but my limited sampling results tell me that only about 15 percent of the entries trace the concept back to me. At first I was a bit shocked and indignant, but then had to laugh at myself for such an unworthy sentiment. All ideas that come to us enter our conscious awareness, poof, they are there, and they were not there just an instant ago. Where did they come from, these new ideas, new meanings, new understandings and insights? Certainly I cannot claim that they are from me, but only through me. Our cognitive organ is not only a thinking instrument but also a reception instrument, receiving ideas from the world of ideas, which many have called the spiritual world, and more recently, I have called the “mental world of eternity.” This neologism is so new that google gives only my writings for this expression.
My point is that I feel ridiculous, and quite a bit pompous, to want to take credit for all my neologisms so that others to perpetuity will have to acknowledge that it was coined by one Leon James (Jakobovits). Reflection shows that I and all others use neologisms that we do not attribute to the originator, and some that we have included in our vocabulary so that it is ours – why should we have to trace it back? At any rate, it would make an interesting piece of research, I think, to study the laws of neologisms to see how the backwards attribution process in academic referencing works. Now, since google, everything has speeded up. Information across the world travels faster than the few seconds it takes us to view the screen contents in front of us.
I hope that this neochart might be of service to those who are going to research this issue in the future. At the same time it provides me with the opportunity to present a partial index of what I consider my most useful ideas in psychology, or rather, the scientific ideas that I was privileged to receive. What made me so privileged? Today I know the answer: it was my love for these particular ideas that made my mind to serve as a suitable receptor for them. I believe that others can examine these ideas with interest, and if they love them, they can make them part of their own thinking, and thus make them their own. Giving neologisms to each other is the mutual enrichment of community mental life.
When I was a college student one of the early concepts I learned from Introductory Psychology (taught by the illustrious Donald Hebb) was the German word Zeitgeist (literally: the spirit of the times), which is the idea that people of a generation independently come up with the same ideas, inventions, and innovations since it is “the spirit” of the age, and it is this spirit for which the cognitive organs of various people act as receptors, given the individual’s special love for them. And, pop, in comes the new idea, insight, perception, or understanding.
I coined the expression "applied psycholinguistics" in 1978. Today Goggle gives over 8,000 sites that use this term. I would hypothesize that very few of these are traceable back to me, most of the 8,000 occurrences representing several independent strands. I would consider this a normal process of the independent constructions of neologisms by a number of scientists whose thinking was influenced by the focus of the times. The 1970s saw the rapid expansion of the new hybrid field of psycholinguistics and thousands of researchers and writers were active in this area.
The Master Neochart (this document) contains hundreds of entries with a zero occurrence, which means that these neologisms and new phrases do not appear in any of the hundreds of billions of pages that Google indexes. An example is "Clicking as a spiritual act" (which I coined in 1997) and does not occur among the billions of documents and trillions of sentences people have posted on the Web. This surprises me given the intense focus in our society on filtering Web sites to protect people from materials they consider offensive, or to protect them from phishing and malicious viruses. To protect children from falling on explicit adult sites parents and teachers use filtering software that prevent them from clicking on whatever they want. So I would have thought that people would connect "clicking" to a decision that has social and moral implications. To click or not to click is a dilemma that faces hundreds of millions of people every day, not just for spiritual and moral reasons, but certainly I would think, including these.
Another example is the expression "community cataloguing practices" which I coined in 1978. It does not occur anywhere in today's infopshere of the World Wide Web. This does not surprise me since it is so specialized, viewing community practices in terms of how people catalogue or keep track of what counts as what in their social environment. The expression "feminizing the marriage" (which I coined in 2000) does not occur in the entire universe of the World Wide Web. This is very surprising since "feminizing" or "feminization" is listed with over 150,000 occurrences and marriage with 1.5 million occurrences. The non-occurrence of "feminizing the marriage" or "feminizing marriages" shows the force and power of "neologistic constructions" to combine words that resist being together due to intellectual climate. In contrast, "feminizing husbands" does occur but it is associated with female domination, sex change, or pornography. This is why I rescinded my neologism of "feminizing the husband" and am no longer using it in my writings. The expression "surrendered husband" (which I coined in 2002) occurs hundreds of times, but in various different senses.
Not knowing much about what others have researched on neologisms (see what I have gathered here from the Web). It appears from my empirical self-witnessing that neologisms are new word combinations that pop into our awareness when we are grasping for an expression that will describe a perception we have of a sensation, idea, or feeling. This definition of neologisms overlaps with the way linguists describe the cognitive operation of everyday verbalizations in talk or discourse. In other words, neologisms are the result of normal ordinary language competence and performance. Every speaker of a language constructs neologisms as a routine practice in daily social life and in private thinking.
My wife Dr. Diane Nahl and I coined a number of neologisms in our 2000 book Road Rage and Aggressive Driving. One of them is "anti-road rage awareness" which has an occurrence of zero, other than my own use of it. Again this surprises me, given the fact that I introduced my 1997 congressional testimony with the title “Symptoms of Road Rage." Today it has become a daily topic in newspaper articles and thousands of Web sites. The expression "road rage awareness" occurs 280 times today, which shows its growing topical interest. Interestingly, I coined the expression “anti-road rage awareness activities” in 2000 but it still has a zero occurrence, except for my articles and letters on the Web.
The difference between our neologism of "anti-road rage awareness" and the widespread use of "road rage awareness" is that in our book we focus on "road rage remedies" or "remedial road rage," using such other neologisms as "children against road rage," "road rage nursery," "road rage scenario analysis," "road rage prevention," "road rage legislation," etc. Within this context there is the idea of "anti-road rage" activities, hence "anti-road rage awareness exercises." The expression "anti-road rage" occurs 8,600 times in various contexts, e.g., anti-road rage TV ad, anti-road rage bumper stickers, anti-road rage laws, but not "anti-road rage awareness." This shows that as a new topic area develops (road rage was introduced around 1985), various features or facets are progressively uncovered by perception of the issues involved. Hence the number of neologisms in a specific subject area gradually grows as a reflection of its semantic and structural maturity.
A new information practice at amazon.com (and other sites) is to provide phrases from the book that have a low statistical probability of occurring together in other books or text. For the Road Rage book amazon.com provides these "improbable" expressions:
Key Phrases - Statistically Improbable Phrases (SIPs): (learn more)
aggressive driving laws, supportive driving, traffic emotions, against road rage, driver enforcement, supportive drivers, driving psychology, aggressive driving behavior, surf rage, rage tendency, lane hopping, dashboard dining, driving partner, aggressive drivers, speed enforcement, driving philosophy, driving personality, road ragers, highway community, driving attitudes, emotional territory, road rage incident, older drivers, furious driving, rage incidents
Except for three or four expressions in the list above, the remaining may all be considered neologisms. This shows that neologisms consist of low probability combinations of words. "Supportive driving" is a true neologism as it appears to be not present prior to our 2000 book. Today it is listed 1010 times by Google (May 30, 2008). By inspecting the results I determined that most of these are what's known as "false drops" to professional searchers and librarians. Two false drops that occur repeatedly is "driving, supportive" (which is not a phrase), and "supportive driving position," which is a reference to car seats. But there are about 50 occurrences of the "supportive driving" phrase that we coined in our 2000 book, and most of these can be traced back to our book, our DrDriving.org Web site, or a newspaper interview and story.
The expression "
In scientific discourse it is a universal practice to address the neologisms that scientists and reviewers construct in each other's literature. One of the most influential neologisms of the past one hundred years in linguistics and psychology was introduced in Noam Chomsky's doctoral dissertation at MIT in 1957. He called the new approach he was proposing for linguistics "generative grammar." Chomsky elegant and technically powerful theoretical proposal and demonstration instantly ignited the field of linguistics, precipitating a classic version of "scientific revolutions" that spilled over into psychology and cognate fields, spawning psycholinguistics, cognitive science, information science, and the new "scientific" approach of the language teaching profession. All that from one neologisms "generative transformation" (and a family of related or derivative expressions).
Freud's neologisms of "psychopathology of every day life" and the "super-ego" are among many he constructed. Within one century Freud's "depth psychology" neologisms, tied together by the doctrine of unconscious motivation, has penetrated and infused the intellectual life of hundreds of millions around the world, finding their way into science, literature, novels, popular magazines, movies, TV, commercials, songs, courts, hospitals, psychotherapists, clergy, everyday topics. I used of one of Freud's neologisms "psychodynamic" to create the neologisms of "ethnodynamics" (1977) and "astrodynamics" (1981). The word "astrodynamics" occurs 164,000 on the Web, so it is clear that it may have already been in use by thousands of people when I coined it anew by myself. This is in line with my definition of neologisms as an ordinary everyday cognitive construction practice. Oh, that sounds like another neologisms, "cognitive construction practice" Let me google it, just a moment............................OK, I'm back. The results that there are 8,400 Web sites using the expression "cognitive construction" but no occurrences for the neologism I just made up "cognitive construction practice."
What about "cognitive construction" in the context of "neologisms"? I found only one document that qualifies. So it looks like the idea I had of "neologisms as ordinary cognitive constructions," might qualify as a "neologistic expression" (there goes another one --- ......................... OK, it occurs 13 times in google). I have been talking about neologisms several times a day with my wife as I was writing working on this document (heavy duty linking job!!). At one point she said to me: You are a neologist. Quick let me google that. ............ Yep, it's been around on 18,000 documents.
What is the opposite of neologisms? Perhaps trite expressions that no longer carry meaning, yet have an important ritualizing function in exchanges -- Yes, yes. No, no. I see. What the heck is this! What's wrong? How are you. Thanks a million. I hate when people...In the 1960s generative semanticist Fillmore neologued the expression "formulaic expression" to refer to speech acts that have a ritualizing function primarily, and no longer convey meaning apart from that ritualizing. And we know that much of human exchange involves speech act ritualizing in order to create a receptive conversational environment-- So, how've'you been? What's up, bro. No kidding. Well, gotta go now. Entire conversational exchanges can sometimes be composed of mostly of formulaic expressions and ritualizing. When people talk to pets or babies they regularly say semantically nonsensical things that are pure emotional ritualizings -- Oh, you're supercute. Yep. Supercute. Look at you. Just look at you. So cute. So cute. Oh, yeah. This is something. Yeah, yeah. So cute. We can call these expressions "phatic neologisms."
A "word smith." But so is every ordinary speaker. Noam Chomsky in the late 1950s impressed my generation of psycholinguistic students when he gave a theoretical explanation and a convincing argument why it is that almost every sentence people speak on any day are unique constructions. Empirical evidence showing the accuracy of this principle was provided by many other researchers later. People don't say the same sentences except for short often repeated expressions. The longer a sentence the more likely it is that it will be unique. Try this easy experiment. Type a paragraph or short letter about anything you like. Now select and copy various segments of your sentences, starting with just two words, then three, and so on, and paste it into a Goggle.com query window. What are the results? How many words of your sentences do you need before goggle shows that it does not occur among the billions of documents and hundreds of billions of word sequences others have written. This experiment will prove to you that most of the sentences you speak to your parents or friends are unique (except of the repeated phrases that are more like ritualizing than communicating content).
Note: For more autobiographical details see my article on Historical Autobiography
The intellectual content or perspective of my articles and books fall into three distinct periods or phases:
I. Experimental semantics, language learning: 1958-1971 (McGill University and University of Illinois)
II. Ethnomethodological psycholinguistics, language teaching, community-classroom: 1971-1980 (University
III. Driving psychology, information behavior, Swedenborg, theistic psychology: 1980- 2008 (University of Hawaii)
Prior to 1996 the date I give for each neologism refers to the date of its publication in print, which may be up to two years after the actual writing in an article. The year 1996 marks the beginning of the Web as we know it today. Since that date I have published all my writings on the Web the same month or year that I wrote them (usually the same week or day).
One significance of the dates I give is that in 1981, I became a reader of the Writings of Swedenborg. Everything I wrote after that date is focused on Swedenborg's Writings. It's interesting to note that The basic idea of the "ennead matrix" appears in my pre-1981 articles dealing with trigrams and hexagrams in semantic units and discourse sequences (see for example entries in the Chart on ethnosemantics, color-coded hexagram, or ethnomethodological psycholinguistics, threefold self, and many others). Other pre-1981 ideas are not related to my post-1981 Swedenborg focus, and I have not continued to develop them. A list of several hundred expressions and terms I used in my Swedenborg related articles, with links to the full text articles, is available here.
Clicking on each entry will link you to a full text article that uses and discusses that term.
Once you see the article you can give the Find Command for the expression you are looking for. You will want to do this more than once since the expression may be used in several places. Entries in the Neochart marked as --(see Neo Book) -- refer to the text of the book that discusses neologisms and the Neochart. I produced thousands of of neologisms in the writing of that book. It is probably the most neo filled of all my books and articles. This may be largely due to the fact that I spent more time collecting neos from this book, as compared to my other books and articles, which I only briefly sampled.
The Google or Yahoo search for each neologism (in quotes) was done throughout 2008. When the entry is zero it means that the search engine delivered articles solely by me. In other words, a zero means that I found no one using the identical expression in the same sense that I used it, other than my own papers or, the reports of my students who were studying my papers, or when I was being quoted in an article, news story, or interview.
The number in parenthesis after some of the zero entries indicates the number of others who have adopted the expression by referring to it or using it in the same sense. (Note: this has not yet been implemented.
When the entry is not 0 it means that others have used the identical expression, either in the same sense as I have (not usually), or in various unrelated senses in different fields (which may be called independent homonymous neologisms).
When others use the expression in the same sense as I have, two possibilities occur. One possibility is that they got the expression from my work or from others who got it from my work, and these may or may not cite me directly. The other possibility is that the same neologism in the same sense was coined independently by others besides myself.
When the search results for an entry are relatively high (say between 50 and 500), or very high (in the thousands), there are two possibilities. One is that the same neologismic expression was independently coined by those hundreds or thousands of people. The other possibility is that the neologism gets around and becomes a popular topic. This means that the novel concept or meaning in the neologism becomes part of the thinking repertoire of many others.
A neologism is a word, phrase, or expression that describes a perception, insight, or concept for the first time.
The desire to describe the new perception creates the neologism through content available in one's memory and understanding. Without this desire to describe, there would be no description, and no neologism. Love invents what is pleasing to it. Every neologism is the product of a particular love. Love is an objective and organic operation of the affective organ in our mind. This affective operation is activated by the substance of spiritual heat flowing in from the Spiritual Sun in the mental world of eternity, where all human feelings and thoughts exist or are located. We subjectively experience this mental physiology as a feeling we call love.
There is an endless variety of loves and sub-loves, which are called affections. The expression “being affectionate” refers to an affection of love for someone, expressed through sensorimotor determinations that the individual manages according to group practice and culture. A husband’s love for his wife (affective organ) invents a new idea in his mind (cognitive organ) about how to express this love in his sensorimotor determinations, that become visible in the physical body’s actions, such as inventing a surprise for her, or inventing a new term of affection for her, or a new tone or way of saying it, or a new way of touching or squeezing, and so on. These behavioral neologisms are love’s products by which it is satisfied, and lives.
Love produces sensorimotor neologisms by means of cognitive
neologisms. The sequence of production and inventiveness follows this anatomical
Affective à cognitive à sensorimotor
Love à idea à expression
Spiritual heat à spiritual light à experience
Affective neologism à cognitive neologism à sensorimotor neologism à behavioral neologism
Love is called here an affective neologism because every love or affection is unique. No two loves or affections can ever be the same. Swedenborg reminds us that one can see this uniqueness in people’s faces and facial expressions. The physical face is an expression of a person’s love, and especially what he calls “ruling love.” All loves are arranged in an organic hierarchy like the chart of executives and managers in a business organization, or in the armed forces, and so on. One’s ruling love is king. All the sub-loves or affections are ruled by the ruling love. Affections that are contrary or incongruent with the ruling love are not around, or are on their way to expulsion. Cognitions are affections in outward garb. A semantic neologism (cognitive) is merely an affective neologism in external disguise. And a sensorimotor neologism is a joint product of the marriage between affective and cognitive neologisms.
From this we can see that affection, idea, sensorimotor determination, and physical execution are all involved in any human behavior or interaction. Since every affection or love is unique, it strives to conjoin with a unique idea that corresponds to that unique love. And from this you can see that every utterance and expression of a human being is a neologism
Hence the study of neologisms is the same as the study of speech acts and discourse. It doesn’t seem that way upon appearances, or else, why do we need the word neologism in addition to the words like speech act, utterance, word, or expression. How is neologism different from any expression, given that all expressions are unique?
According to appearances, the word or phrase spoken or written may be the same as that of another person, or that of the same person saying something earlier. So it seems that words and expressions are recirculated and used constantly as the speech or paragraph proceeds. But this is only an appearance when we capture as in a freeze frame the word or expression and consider its meaning. But the actuality of that meaning cannot be separated from the actuality of that event when it was expressed or used by the speaker or writer. This context of use is the actuality of what was said in that situation. But all situations are unique. Hence the actual content meaning, or referent of the expression used in that instant, was actually unique, and hence a neologism.
I discussed this issue in 1999, referring to its original
discussion in my 1974 book The Context of
Foreign Language Teaching:
This finding was important. I generalized it to my work in psycholinguistics where it turned up as "the Principle of Indeterminacy of Meaning" in which I argued that the definition of a word allows us to put words together in a sentence, and this sentence does not have a definition as the words themselves have. One version of this principle will be found in this chapter.
Since we use sentences to communicate, I concluded that the communicative value of the sentence, that is, its meaning, is indeterminate, and is serviceable only because it homes in as title, to the general area. My final conclusion was original and revolutionary, namely, that sentences are encapsulated titles for paragraphs, pages, and chapters which we would have to write or say to describe our experiencing in a more specific or referential manner.
This led to the idea that a new paradigm of linguistics or psycho-linguistics needs to be developed in which we deal with the syntax of titles as encapsulated references to particular operations of human experience. If you want, you can look at a paper I wrote on titles.
Since there are three levels of thinking and describing, there are three types of neologisms.
Neologistic expressions are treated differently in science than in poetry, literature, or commercial products and trademarks. For the inspired poet or song writer every line can contain a novel way of using a word or a novel way of combining ordinary words. Scientists tend to avoid new constructions and expressions, unless it is required by the presentation of a new explanation, theory or method. New words are introduced into English every year, according to philologists:
New technology, new fashions, new problems, new attitudes: the world is changing all the time and so is the English language. Every year new words are invented. Some become a permanent part of the language; others fall out of the language again when they are no longer needed. The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary contains many words that have recently come into the language. (...)
COMPOUNDS are the commonest type of new word, when two existing words are combined to give a new meaning. It is not hard to guess what an asylum seeker is, or home-schooling, if you know what the elements mean. One new combination inspires another. You probably know hardware and software, but do you know liveware and wetware, formed on the same principles? New words can be easier to remember if they rhyme, for example chick flick or shock jock, or alliterate (= repeat the same first letter), for example pester power and drag-and-drop. (...)
New products which are introduced are another source of new words, especially if the type of product becomes particularly associated with one brand. This has happened, for example, with Bluetooth™ and Palmcorder™. Sometimes these brand names become so well-known that they can even be used as verbs: If you don’t know what it means, you can google it. (...)
NEW MEANINGS for old words: sometimes the need for a new word can be filled by extending the meaning of a word that already exists. For example, in a business context a beauty contest is an occasion on which several competing companies or people try to persuade somebody to use their services; and wallpaper in computing is the background that you have on your computer screen. (...)
The expression "The Scientific Meaning of Christmas" which I constructed in 2004 does not occur anywhere. Here we have an example of a neologism that uses commonly known terms like "scientific meaning" (44,000) occurrences and Christmas (450 million), but is expressing an idea for which there is much resistance in our intellectual climate that strives to separate science and religion. The same holds for "Spiritual meaning of songs about cars" (which I coined in 2007). I coined "Spiritual psychobiology" in 1982 and it has not surfaced anywhere else.
The most recent scientific neologisms I constructed occur in this book which I started in March 2008. For instance, I just searched the expression "homonymous neologisms" (coined above in an earlier paragraph), and got only one link: it was a link to this document which I published on the Web in mid-March and kept updating as I worked on it.
By the time this book was 112 pages long on May 30, 2008, it had added 846 neos to the Master Neochart, which then contained 2013 entries (published version 24d).
Everyone writes or speaks unique sentences. Try it out. Type a note to your friend. Select a sentence that is longer than six words, copy it and paste it into a Web search engine query window, making sure you enclose it into quotes. You will find that many of your sentences are actually unique in the Web environment containing many trillion sentences. Let's take the last sentence ("You will find...") and paste the entire sentence into google. The results show that no such sentence exists in the huge infosphere of sentences in English. A few days from now the search engines will show one document, namely this one. This sentence would not be considered a scientific neologism.
Now let's take a portion of the sentence: "containing many trillions of sentences" -- there are no occurrences. This phrase would not be considered a scientific neologism. The phrase "trillions of sentences" shows up only seven times, which surprises me. Repeatedly I seem to be surprised at how few occurrences there are for what appears to me like a likely combination. This shows that people may not able to predict neologisms (this would make an interesting experiment in psycholinguistics, or else a nice new game). For instance given another portion of the sentence above, "sentences are actually unique in the Web environment," my expectation would be that this would definitely occur many times. Yet when I google it, there are no occurrences. Research needs to determine what makes certain word combinations and meanings unlikely to occur. Of course, I am only considering the corpus of sentences on the Web that are publicly available for search bots to index and deliver as results. But this is such a huge population of sentences that it should be representative of all sentences that have been created in English by the past few generations. I am discussing written sentences mostly.
The beginning portion of the sentence "You will find that many of your sentences are actually unique" does not occur anywhere. Even curtailing it to "You will find that many of your sentences" does not occur. Despite this, it is obviously not a neologism. If we check for ""You will find that many" -- we get 130,000 occurrences. "many of your sentences" gets 14,000, and "many of your sentences" gets 14 million occurrences. The portion "many of your sentences are actually unique" has zero occurrence, as does "many sentences are actually unique." This really surprises me. "Sentences are unique" would surely occur many times -- actually, it occurs a mere 26 times. And "your sentences are unique" does not occur anywhere (what a surprise!). The fact that sentences tend to be unique for the most part has been known since Chomsky's focus on it starting in 1960. The sentence "Most sentences are unique." occurs only once and is attributed to author Richard Dawkins' book on evolution. Where is Noam Chomsky? (a sentence that occurs 12 times!). "Where is Leon James" does not occur anywhere. "Where is Diane Keaton?" occurs only once, but "Where is George Bush" occurs 1,500 times, and "Where is God" occurs 230,000 times.
The expression "framed presentations or exhibits" occurs only once (by me), while "frame presentations" occurs 9,000 times, "framed exhibits" occurs 360 times, and "presentations or exhibits" occurs 350 times. The expression "standardized routines for processing information" occurs once (by me), even though "standardized routines" occurs 3,000 times, and "processing information" occurs more than one million times. Taking a frequently used expression ("information processing") and combining it with a less frequent expression ("standardized routines") results in a unique expression. Is "standardized routines for processing information" a scientific neologism? I would think that it is. However, in the neochart below I have listed mostly one, two, and three word expressions used to refer to a theoretical or descriptive construct.
We need to become aware of the numerous anti-neologisms in our daily mental life. Anti-neologisms are Ahrimanic forces of fossilization that invade perfectly healthy neologisms and turn them into what linguists have called “formulaic expressions” (Fillmore comes to mind). It is discussed in the literature under various topics such as trite phrases, stale expressions, popular sayings, and conversational rituals (Goffman comes to mind). Here is a dialog made-up exclusively of anti-neologisms:
A: Hi, how you doing.
B: Good. How about you.
A. Yeah, good. What’s up.
B. Dunno. What’s up with you.
A. Well, I gotta go. See yeah.
B. Yeah. See yeah.
These are actually useful anti-neologisms in and of themselves, because as we know from ethnomethodological psycholinguistics, performing the sequence of these interactions by A and B constitutes for them as having had a conversation and a social encounter. If later someone asks A: “Did you talk to B today?” then B can truthfully answer “Yes.” So ritualistic anti-neologisms have an important social function and utility. But there may be others that are more insidious, more destructive and hellish of human endeavor.
My sentence and its parts
“Community implies a socio-cultural manifold that excludes uncharted zones, positions, or spots.”
community implies a socio-cultural manifold that excludes uncharted zones
community implies a socio-cultural manifold
The first three rows occur only by me in this article from 1978. "Socio-cultural manifold" can be considered one of my neologisms, and it is coined independently by two other writers. "Socio-cultural" would not be considered my neologism, and neither would "manifold" or "community." Neologisms are always embedded in a sentence. A sentence length varies from one word to unknown limits. The longer a sentence the more difficult it is to understand, and individuals differ in ability and willingness to decipher the meaning of long sentences. As a practical approach I would say that the longer a sentence fragment is, the less it qualifies as a neologism. Most neologisms would be no longer than three words. It would be nice if we could find on the Web a frequency distribution of words in combinations, starting with single words, two-word expressions, three-word expressions, etc. Such data would allow us to investigate the cognitive and affective mechanisms that create neologisms.
In 1977 I coined the neologism "role type enactment" to refer to the consistent performance of a style of acting and speaking in a particular social setting or relationship. Today thirty years later Goggle shows no occurrence of this expression in the mega-trillions of three-word expressions in English on the Web. I want to understand what spiritual force, or if you prefer, what mental force keeps these three words from occurring through all this enormous activity of writing on the Web. What expressions people type out, or think and say, is not a random event that just happens without a specific cause making it happen. Nothing in science is random in the sense that nothing is making it happen. Every event we can observe must have a cause. It is the cause that scientists are always searching for in whatever they observe as a fact. What causes me to think of "role type enactment" thirty years ago, and what causes hundreds of millions of other English speakers writing trillions of three-word combinations on billions of Web documents, to avoid "role type enactment"?
Does the answer have to do with semantic focus of perception?
To investigate this possibility let's look at the semantic environment where the neologism "role type enactment" came into occurrence. Here are two prior paragraphs in the article:
We [Diane and I] are raising an important methodological issue which requires full and adequate treatment. This cannot be done here, but we want to illustrate some of the issues involved with a concrete example: the problem of defining the notion of "conversational environment" objectively. Intuitively, it is clear that saying something in the course of a conversation is an adequate device for introducing a change in the sociocultural environment of the participants, i.e., saying something can arouse reactions on the part of hearers in the same way that altering the physical or physiological environment can produce reactions. In fact, saying thing in the course of verbal exchanges constitutes the most prominent method use in human communities for affecting the sociocultural environment, especially when we include saying things to one's Self.
Despite this prominence of verbal exchanges in the community the objective definition of what constitutes a functional conversational spot is difficult to obtain in the most ordinary of situations. As Goffman has argued, few verbal exchanges can be explained, even in crude terms, using such devices as Question/Answer, Request/Legitimization, Attack/Defense, Mover/Reply Move, and the like, for it is quickly discovered that most of talk in natural situations is totally spontaneous and reactive. This means that talk, like other behavior, is responsive to contingencies in the environment rather than to deliberate or conscious strategies of moving and responding to moves, and therefore, the functional units are to be discovered independently of conscious strategies. We intend to show that the functional units of talk in conversation are occasioned by parameters that are independent of conscious awareness, hence inaccessible by methods that average subjective reports as in survey research or experimental data dependent on instructions.
In other words, my attention was focused on trying to find a measure for what was known in ethnomethodology in the 1970s as "conversational environment." Here I was focusing specifically on the nature of conversational interaction as being spontaneous rather than consciously intended. This means that the style of interaction cannot be discovered by having speakers answer various questions about why they interact in a particular way at a particular time. They are just reacting and acting and interacting. And then we say this:
The objective definition of conversational environment can be approached through the delimitation of segments of conversation which are independently defined from such subjective features as topic or content of talk. We shall illustrate this possibility using the transcript already discussed above and attributed to individual A. Note that the episode involves four persons identified in terms of their appearance as follows: (... skipping)
Tabulating the talking turns in the above manner (Figure 2a) more nearly brings out the consequences of the first transformation, i.e., of treating a conversation as a sequence of interactive links. For example, it shows that the transformation is topological, viz., the four-dimensional phenomenon known as conversational episode (place-time specifications) receives a topographic projection whose mathematical or geometric properties can be exploited for describing less visible features of verbal interactional activities. For example, counting the number of interventions or measuring the length of the line five a characterization of each participant's behavior: this too is a major theoretical step that needs careful treatment. In other words, merely counting the number of interventions does not constitute a characterization; instead, it constitutes a measure of participation for this particular observed event. We are proposing, however, to upgrade the significance of the count into a measure of role type, or some such term denoting characteristic behavior. (See Chapter 9, Section [9.3.II.2.1 - 2D].)
From: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/instructor/applied4.html zzz
In other words, the environment or character or style of a conversational interaction can be objectively defined or measured by taking sub-segments of the interaction (=lines of a conversational transcript) and seeing how the sub-topics mentioned in the exchange are linked together. Typically, person A might mention topic X while person B reacts to it by mentioning another topic. The second topic gets discussed for three or four talking turns, then A comes back to the first topic. And so on with other topics. So topics weave in and out of each other during a normal spontaneous conversation. The last sentence in the paragraph above introduces the idea of "role type" which is a prior neologism I have been discussing for three years prior to the writing of this paragraph. And so we continue:
In particular, the issue of characterizing role behavior is much easier since we are then dealing with the problem of how to catalogue community practices in conversations, -- a much simpler task for the present.
In terms of the notion of role type, then, we can say that number of interventions, and their distribution, are indices of a person's habitual conduct in social situations, while at the same time we are to stress that "social situations" must not for our purposes be defined in terms of an arbitrary set of variables chosen by an investigator, whatever the variables may be. To sum it up: conversations are information "environments" shaped or constructed by talkers through the content of their responses to other talkers. It is a mutual and reciprocal interaction or communicative exchange in which talkers perform for each other, making impressions upon the others, affecting them, arousing emotions in them as a reaction to what content they chose to perform, and how the performance was delivered. This goes on at a very rapid pace since not only do talkers overlap in speech, but they also perform for each other continuously -- remaining silent, looking intent, yawning, shaking the head, looking away, saying a sequence of Mhm..mhm's, opening eyes wide, grimacing, or taking a talking turn by saying something, which involves a series of speech acts -- agreeing, disagreeing, expressing humor, drawing an implication, saying something unrelated, and so on. This performance or enactment in the exchange is the talker's "role type enactment." That semantic focus required a neologism to mark it, identify it as a phenomenon about conversational exchanges.
In 1977 I wrote this sentence in an article:
"My work has led me to the formulation of an understanding of cultural behavior that recognizes the modulations of individual seeking and suffering as actualized reifications of culturally standardized ritual possibilities"
Of course the entire sentence is unique. But if you take two and three sentence combinations within the sentence, you obtain several scientific neologisms:
1. understanding of cultural behavior (only 17 occurrences)
2. formulation of an understanding (40 occurrences)
3. modulations of individual seeking (zero occurrences)
4. actualized reifications (zero occurrences)
5. standardized ritual possibilities (zero occurrences)
6. suffering as actualized reifications (zero occurrences)
I would have thought that "understanding of cultural behavior" would occur many thousands of times, instead of just 17. I was so amazed that I had to redo the search on google three times, and then I checked yahoo. I have no explanation for the non-usage of the expression "understanding of cultural behavior." The expression "cultural behavior" occurs nearly 200,000 times, and the word "understanding" occurs more than 800 million times. So why so few occurrences of "understanding of cultural behavior"?
According to Marbe's Law, which I learned as an undergraduate major in psychology in the 1950s, frequency of occurrence of a word or expression in a community reflects the degree of interest shown for that topic. Topics and words that are popular reflect general interest in it by the population or group. As an example, here are some topics and their frequency of occurrence on Yahoo.com:
The more words that make up a combination, the harder it is to find frequent occurrences, and they quickly tend to become unique.
Consider these Yahoo generated occurrences:
incredibly 153 million
bright 444 million
yellow 1.8 billion
patterns 380 million
"incredibly bright" 36 million
"yellow patterns" 18,000
"bright yellow"9.5 million
"bright yellow patterns" 99
"incredibly bright yellow" 265
"incredibly bright yellow patterns" 0
In other words, if you take four frequently used words (hundreds of millions of times on the Web), and you combine them two at a time, three at a time, and all four at a time, the combinations quickly get much smaller, and finally unique.
Face work neos (Goffman comes to mind) refer to speech act neos that people routinely construct in interaction with others. For example: “I am so, so super sorry!”—which has a google occurrence of just one. Or: “I am so excited that I can hardly wait you know." – which has a zero occurrence.
Neocalendars are calendars that provide ‘a neo a day’ feature, or ‘a neo of the month’ feature. Some day soon someone will provide a neo widget with an RSS feed to provide for digital delivery systems for neos and desktop neos. Similarly, neocards are cards people send each other with a neo message. Chicken soup neos are intended to soothe one’s mental environment and feed it with hope neos and self-confidence building neos.
I think that ordinarily scientists think about neologisms as new “terms” or “terminology” made up of one word. Lists and dictionaries that keep track of neologisms provide them as single words. But neos come in any length. As you can see from The Neochart here, and from the neocharts of others, neologisms vary in number of words from 1, to two-word expressions, the three-word phrases or combinations, and in fact to any length. There is no limit to the number of words in neologisms. The probability of an expression being a neologism approaches certainty in proportion to the number of words it contains. According to linguistic research in the Chomskyan era most people’s sentences in discourse are unique.
Here is one syntactic typology of neologisms that might be useful for research on neologisms:
· Single word neos (“new terminology”), including titles of books and articles, trade names, and endearing neos or put down neos.
· Phrase level neos (mostly between 2 and 5 words)
· Speech act neos (the entire expression is used with interactional significance)
· Sentence level neos or sentential neos (the entire expression makes a whole sentence)
Sentential neos express a full assertion or make a comment about some subject. Philosophy sentential neologisms are also known as “sayings” about life and truth, also known historically as “proverbs,” and in Zen tradition as a “koan.”
Sentence neos are neos constructed as a full sentence. The sentential neo makes a complete stand alone assertion. It expresses an argument, a conclusion, a doctrine, a philosophy of life. Categorized neocharts contain selections of sentential neos arranged by time or topic that express the author’s understanding, knowledge, and wisdom.
Sentential neos pack a complete assertion. They are philosophical and spiritual statements. By selecting all the sentential neos in a neochart and sorting them alphabetically, we produce the poetry of neologisms. The spiritual poetry of neologisms is hidden within each one of them. This follows the universal principle expounded in the Swedenborg Reports that successive degrees are together in simultaneous degrees.
The familiar cause-effect sequence is an instance of this, though it is generally unknown to the scientists today. Everyone knows that cause is first, then effect follows. But few people know that the cause is within the effect. People think of the cause as the precipitating causal event in the past. This is because they have a purely physical or materialistic explanation (layer 8C) of cause and effect. It is like intellectual Flatland. A dimension of reality is eliminated, leaving something flat or flattened. It is conceptual reductionism. The Swedenborg Reports restore conceptual duality, consequently true reality. Duality is declared and revealed in all Sacred Scripture. It is God’s Word, therefore Divine Truth, which is reality itself.
(husband and wife)
He was stupefied by this celestial appearance and reality.
He witnessed their conjoint self, shining from their faces, their beauty, and their wisdom.
Hell is the Grand Monster.
In theistic psychology “spiritual” is defined as “mental,” which includes our sensations, thoughts, and feelings.
Love rules and creates all of a person's eternal life.
Surely this is
one of the greatest scientific discoveries in the history of modern science
since Copernicus. (re: spiritual world=mental world of eternity)
(re: spiritual world=mental world of eternity)
Theinherited loves of the natural mind are contrary to this unity.
The psychology of spiritual self-witnessing
The rest are in our vertical community. (independent witness
What kind of a world is this in which there is no time, no place, and no matter??
When do men like femininity?
You are then the independent witness, and only one is strictly needed.
Now let us go back to the introductory paragraph of this Section:
Sentential neos pack a complete assertion. They are philosophical and spiritual statements. By selecting all the sentential neos in a neochart and sorting them alphabetically, we produce the poetry of neologisms. The spiritual poetry of neologisms is hidden within each one of them. This follows the universal principle expounded in the Swedenborg Reports that successive degrees are together in simultaneous order.
The spiritual poetry of neologisms is “hidden” within each neo.
In other words, what was successive in its construction is now contained in its final form, which is the linguistic expression itself, born in the reflection procedures of the cognitive organ, and which we call an idea. If there is a motive or intention or desire in the affective organ that wants to conjoint itself to this new born idea, then the conjunction gives fruit, delivers a mental baby to the pair of mental organs. This mental baby is born in the sensorimotor organ and is visible there. The three mental organ systems are in discrete degrees and react to each other by correspondence. A feeling from the affective organ is a different thing than a thought in the cognitive organ. The two cannot be continuously or contiguously together except by correspondence. They are made of different substances that cannot mix because they are reciprocal to each other. Every part of one is the reciprocal of the corresponding part of the other. They fit together to make a whole. Their relationship or marriage is that of conjunction – one fitting into the other, the two making a whole.
Your neochart is an index of your autobiographical record as a human being. It is a representation of your intimate relationship to God.
Inside every neo you produce lives the Divine Neo in which your neo is sourced. Your own neos are entry points to your relationship to God. Your neo, sourced as it is in a Divine Neo, is the visible offspring you produced and stands as proof of your intimate relationship to God. This intimacy is obvious since the Divine Neo that is within your own neo is the relationship of love. You had to make yourself love Divine Neos before you could construct any neos of your own. This shows that there are fake neos that don’t have a Divine Neo within them, but only the neo of a fake god, and this usually is the Self elevated to a capital. Spiritually insane neos carry meaning that is constructed from a hellish marriage between an evil hurtful love in the affective organ and a distorted justification in the cognitive organ that makes it acceptable to construct fake neos, God-less neos.
An instance today of this attitude is the negative bias in science that excludes the Swedenborg Reports from its literature, research, and teaching. The justification given (1) that knowledge of God is not science, and (2) that other scientists cannot see what Swedenborg saw, is not methodologically well founded, not true to the freedom of scientific inquiry. I have examined the Swedenborg Reports from my training of half a century of science, and have found them to be scientific. If others make this examination, I am confident that they too will corroborate this conclusion. Hence to refuse to examine the evidence (“negative bias” science), is a position not rationally well founded. The love that keeps this bias going strong, generation after generation of scientists, is not based in the Grand Human. It may have to do with humanistic pride to want to keep God out of the formula of our lives. But the community is endangered when God is denied, since God is the basis of reality and sanity.
People who feel like rejecting this conclusion may want to
reconsider when they remember that the natural rational mind (layer 7Ce) where
we form these ideas and principles, is immersed in the negative bias of
materialism. People can elevate their consciousness to the interior-rational
layer (7Ci) that is informed by Sacred Scripture. There we learn that God
manages science, manages thoughts, manages correspondences, manages events,
manages reality. Knowing this, understanding it, trying to figure it out, makes
us really intelligent and spiritually sane, knowing our excellent future,
knowing how to get there.
There are three types of neos: Affective neos, Cognitive neos, and Sensorimotor neos.
We are most aware of cognitive neos which are words put together to express a new idea seen for the first time by the thinker or speaker. This is a sense-making procedure involving a new configuration of meaning elements. When we construct a cognitive neo we are responding to our desire to capture in a semantic freeze frame this new meaning, this new rational relationship that has entered our understanding and presented itself there to our cognitive eye. We see something new in our mind, and we desire to codify it, fossilize it, capture it into a cognitive unit, which is the neo. People talking to each other produce a stream of cognitive neos for each other’s reception and consummation.
When someone throws a cognitive neo at you, you receive it into your cognitive organ where you apply sense-making procedures to it. The sense-making procedure (also called “appraisal” or “interpretation”), is supervised by the affective procedure of value-attachment, which will allow you to consummate the incoming neos. Value-attaching a neo that you have just appraised gives you the opportunity to consummate its meaning. You might for instance say out loud, “Oh, that’s a wonderful expression” (or “strange expression”), etc. Or you might say nothing, but still evaluate it to yourself (“I like that expression.” Or “That’s such a truism. I should remember that.”).
Once the communicated neo is consummated, it is ready for
optimizing. This is where commercial, military, and educational uses might be
available. All patentable products or copyrightable text are neos born in the
cognitive organ of some inventor or writer.
Affective neo production includes new loves, new values, new motives, new satisfactions, new ways of having fun and being happy, new ways of loving others. Affective un-neos are the opposites of these.
Cognitive neo production includes new ideas, new concepts, new patterns, new understandings, new descriptions, new doctrines from Sacred Scripture.
Sensorimotor neo production includes new appearances, new styles, new products, new ways of performing, new ways of interacting and communicating.
One of the great cognitive neos that started modern science was the heliocentric construction by Copernicus of the first correct arrangement of our solar system. Until then the un-neo of an earth-centric universe reigned in the mind of philosophers and theologians.
It’s interesting to point out that the earth-centric universe is not true physically, as proven by Galileo, but is true spiritually, as proven in the Swedenborg Reports.
For more on the spiritual aspects of mental constructions see my Theistic Psychology Series at: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/booklist.htm
Many of the neologisms listed after 1975 were created with the collaboration of my wife Dr. Diane Nahl, who is also a professor at the University of Hawaii, and author of many neologisms in her field of information science. An instance of her prowess as a neologist, is demonstrated by what she said to me, recently: "I neologued your nanoanalysis," which is what I might call a double neologism. I like "nanoanalysis" which she used to refer to my analysis of something she said earlier which she thought was super-picky about little things. Current chart entries that have no comments or links and are marked 2008, are conversational neologisms constructed while Diane and I were talking together. Of course I only have a small sample of these neo babies since they are produced so frequently in our conjugial exchanges.