Friday, September 10, 2010


A Hideous Neologism?

Roger Cohen, "Harvest of Anger," New York Times (September 9, 2010, speaking of events after September 11, 2001):
A hideous neologism, the "homeland," was coined to describe a country that now needed vigilant protection from within and without.
The word isn't a neologism—the earliest citation in the Oxford English Dictionary is
1670 R. BLOME Treat. Trav. & Traff. 53 Another sort of Merchants, which may be termed Homeland-Traders..who drive a trade to Scotland and Ireland.
However, most of the supposed early examples in Google Books are the result of faulty optical character recognition of the phrases "home and" and "Homer and".

De gustibus non est disputandum, but to my ear and sensibility the word isn't hideous either. On the contrary, it has a comforting sound.

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