Single-word Internet Protologisms In the Vocabulary of Modern English

Innovations in the vocabulary of modern English language have become a great concern of many Ukrainian and foreign language theorists. The linguistic tradition of this study on the territory of CIS and Ukraine is closely interrelated with such scholars as Yu. Zatsnyi, E. Zemskaya, T. Karaschuk, N. Kotelova, N. Muravleva and others. This niche of linguistic science is constantly enlarging itself due to gradual and virtually unstoppable process of domain interweaving of different conventional fields into hybrid domains by means of certain productive binder, one of the most efficient among them being the Internet.It seems that in every sphere of human social, economic, political and cultural life “Internetize yourself/your life/your business” became a common motto for present-day businesses. Consequently, such binding processes provoke a great many linguistic changes in English as a worldwide Internet and business language in terms of new word formation and semantic changes in existing lexical units resulting in category shifts. These changes, or transformations, touch predominantly upon Internet itself and then continue themselves in Internet-penetrated domains of global society as chain reaction.

Unfortunately, the attention of the linguists researching the phenomenon of word formation in English is predominantly paid to the lexical units that are per se standard and ultimately bear socially, economically or politically valuable meaning. In other words, newly coined lexical units having relatively greater potential to be included formally as a part of actual vocabulary become the object of linguistic study much more frequently (or almost exclusively) compared to the words called protologisms [2].

The inexhaustible tendency of various variants of English for self-renewal indeed leaves a very big gap between the widely-known words represented in the world’s most famous English-English and translation dictionaries. Many words, Internet protologisms being among them, fail to become a part of the vocabulary or, in a better case, are favored to be included into the dictionaries many years later after their initial occurrence. Major problem in this respect lies in the fact that lexicography is far slower and more difficult science to work on because of its time-consuming nature and physical impossibility to trace all major and minor changes in English vocabulary. Nevertheless, it is being solved stage-by-stage owing to new IT and computer technologies that are more capable of filing language vocabulary variations and making vast databases of linguistic material available for thorough study by linguists, since far simpler processes and procedures make online and electronic dictionaries easier to compile, faster and, which is not least, cheaper to produce and replicate.

On the one hand, World Wide Web contains online virtually incalculable number of dictionaries and reference resources; on the other hand, business world had realized potential lucrativeness of electronic versions of these resources recorded on optical media, and thus introduced new e-products to world public.

The most popular of the former and visited by Internet users are Dictionary.com being a multi-source dictionary search service produced by Dictionary.com, LLC, one of the leading providers of language reference products and services on the Internet (located at http://dictionary.reference.com), and Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary based on the print version of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, which, as it appears on their website, can be considered the direct lexicographical heir of Noah Webster (located at http://www.merriam-webster.com).

The leader of the latter on the Ukrainian territory is ABBYY Lingvo x3 Multilingual Version containing 154 dictionaries of various types for 12 languages and allowing users to translate words and phrases from Russian to English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Latin and back.

There have been many word coining ways and approaches defined by the aforementioned scholars and many other researchers. Moreover, we will discriminate Internet protologisms not only by the way they have been coined (because they do not have any unique or special one) but also by their special nature, meaning and intension of their creators to reflect something unusual or not yet defined. Another most intriguing assumption that we make here is whether these new or relatively new lexical units have been included into any of the listed dictionaries. And the last assumption is that it is possible to prove that Internet protologisms are not short-lived and therefore could have been included into the dictionaries if they had not. Consequently, the issue of protologisms in Internet vocabulary of modern English language and their representation in the world’s most popular and biggest online and electronic dictionaries appear quite topical.

The verification of the representation of newly coined lexical units in the most dynamic and rapidly developing online and electronic dictionaries and their translation into the Ukrainian language is the purpose of this paper.

The two most popular online dictionaries of the English language, Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and Dictionary.com, together with the leading electronic English-Ukrainian and English-Russian dictionaries included in the core of ABBYY Lingvo X3 system appeared to be the object of this research paper.

Lexical-semantic peculiarities and the ways of the production of single-word Internet neologisms in the vocabulary of modern English along with their definition in English-English online dictionaries and translations in English-Ukrainian and English-Russian electronic dictionaries became the subject of the research.

Our object and subject impose the requirement to determine and perform certain scientific tasks:

  • to define single-word Internet protologisms that have emerged in the vocabulary of modern English language;
  • to attribute and summarize the word-formative approaches involved in building up new single-word lexical units of Internet terminology;
  • to provide semantic analysis of single-word Internet protologisms and explore their representation in English-English online dictionaries and possible translations in English-Ukrainian and English-Russian electronic ABBYY Lingvo X3 dictionaries.

The paper is based upon the following research methods: distributive analysis, the semantic structure analysis method and descriptive method.

According to Ukrainian scholar, Yurii Zatsnyi, World Wide Web is considered nowadays a part of a very peculiar space called information ecology [1, 7] being a new system of human power, processes values and corresponding technologies. This term can be very easily proven by a simple research into the lives of modern people. Within the past decade almost every stratum and age bracket of the society of developed countries have become more information consuming. This greater consumption ability led to the use of new or already known technology in everyday life. Mobile phones, for instance, owing to the development of miniaturization became available for everyone and much lighter as compared to the first massive boxes that were very uncomfortable to carry, tiring and very expensive to use. Initially undiscovered function of transferring technical data from one mobile phone to another brought to life so called short message service or SMS. The increasing number of personal computers and their connection to one another all over the world led to the world network widely known nowadays as Internet.

Of course, these and many other technology and information related developments should have brought something new not only in technology itself, but languages as well, since language (no matter of its nature and origin) is virtually the only way of communication. Therefore, changes in the domains of language functioning cause changes first of all in language vocabulary. For instance, as a result of close bonds between Internet and world economies and businesses new terms defining related notions have appeared in the language of finance and economics in general; a greater number of Internet users facilitated the spread of new words and phrases that had appeared as a consequence of Internet’s influence on people’s daily routine. Neologisms penetrating live languages forced linguists to work on their inclusion into the dictionaries, as a bigger demand for them appeared there from new Internet users constantly increasing in number.

Unfortunately, not all new lexical units have been included into the dictionaries as well as not all of them will ever be included. The reasons for non-inclusion of neologisms into any sort of the dictionary may be divided into two major groups: objective and subjective reasons.

The objective reasons may be defined as those independent upon anybody’s will simultaneously being dependent upon everybody’s will, or better to say, everybody’s unwillingness to accept the change, even linguistic one. Let us demonstrate this contradictory situation by exemplifying a widely know abbreviation among Ukrainians, EOM (elektronna obchysliuvalna mashyna – electronic computing machine), that has never been included in electronic translation dictionaries reflecting the acronym of this term therefore being non-included in the vocabulary of foreign languages, as well as excluded from Ukrainian because of the wider spread of English word computer, and the acceptance of its transcribed variant, kompiuter, by all Ukrainian personal computer users.

The subjective reasons, on the other hand, are mostly limited to a single person’s choice or the choice of a small group of people. Unfortunately, these people are scholars, linguists and lexicographers that due to personal limits in the scope of their work and limited resource are incapable of tracing and recording emerging new lexical units. Limited resource in this regard may mean limited access to the Internet or other IT and technical supplies leading to the incompleteness of their work. Purely subjective limitation in lexicographic work to our mind is a mere voluntary or involuntary unwillingness to pay closer attention to extraordinary and as yet rarely used lexical units.

The term protologism refers to a newly created and proposed word which has not yet gained acceptance. It was coined by Mikhail N. Epstein, Professor of Cultural Theory and Russian Literature at Emory University in Atlanta, USA, (and adopted by the Wiktionary community) from Ancient Greek πρῶτος (prōtos, ‘first’) + λόγος (logos, ‘word’), by analogy with prototype and neologism [2]. In this connection we define Internet protologisms as new lexical units that function in the domain of the Internet and conform to the following criteria:

  1. these neologisms are comparatively uncommon occurrences in specialized or nonspecialized language of the Internet;
  2. these new lexical units possess the features of word play and rather awkward word-building structure as compared to conventional and universally accepted words and word combinations of Internet terminology.

By saying ‘uncommon occurrences’, we mean a rare use or almost no use of protologisms in the Internet based upon the frequency of their inclusion into the search results of online search engines. Below is a list of 48 single-word Internet terms out of more than 200 discovered since 1992 we selected for short semantic structure analysis. Some of these words gradually become used in the Internet more often.

The first result of our analysis appeared quite unexpectedly forcing us to make a conclusion that only a very small percentage of the above listed words can be discovered in the dictionary. This result showed that word processor Microsoft Word 2003 edition can identify only four out of 48 given words in spite of the fact that among these 48 there are units documented in 1992. Thus, there is a big gap of eleven years between the first emergence and possible inclusion of these neologisms into the built-in dictionary of MS Word 2003. Moreover, only one out of the four recognized lexical units reflects actual Internet nature, because the remaining three ones are older units that acquired new semantic nature of an Internet term.

The statistics of the further study of protologisms showed that all these single-word Internet neologisms can be divided into five major groups characterizing a) people involved in browsing the Internet or using it with any possible purpose, b) activities that can be performed by Internet users of for Internet users, c) style with which any kind of activity can be undertaken on the Internet, d) various properties or characteristics of the Internet itself or any other Internet-based object, and e) objects by any means related to the Internet. We have collected statistic data of the number of new lexical units composing the abovementioned groups (ref. to Diagram 1).

Diagram 1. Groups of single-word Internet protologisms
diag1

Group 1. People involved in browsing the Internet or using it with any possible purpose.

Arachnerd (n., blend of ‘arachnid’ and ‘nerd’) – a person who spends a great deal of time either surfing the Web or fussing with their home page [6]. Earliest citation: “Open City”, Sydney Morning Herald, March 29, 1996.

Cyberchondriac (n., blend of ‘cyber’ and ‘hypochondriac’) – 1) a user who always thinks there is something wrong with his computer; 2) someone who uses the World-Wide Web to indulge their hyperchondria [4]. Earliest citation: “Internet health and medical info gets mixed reviews, study finds,” Business Wire, September 12, 1996.

Fakester (n., affixation: ‘fake’+ ‘-est’ + ‘-er’) – a person who puts up a profile on a social networking website such as Friendster or MySpace that contains false or misleading information, or that is dedicated to another person or to an object [6]. Earliest citation: Lessley Anderson, “Attack of the Smartasses”, SF Weekly, August 13, 2003.

Internot (n., blend of ‘Internet’ and ‘not’) – a person who refuses to use the Internet [6]. Earliest citation: Erik Jul, “Of Internauts and Internots”, Computers in Libraries, September 1, 1992.

Knowbie (n., blend of ‘know’ and ‘newbie’) – a knowledgeable and experienced Internet user [6]. Earliest citation: 1997.

Nooksurfer (n., blend of ‘nook’ and ‘surfer’) – a person who frequents only a limited number of Internet sites [6]. Earliest citation: 1996.

Piggybacker (n., affixation/blend of ‘piggy’ and ‘back’ + ‘-er’) – a person who uses a wireless Internet connection without permission [6]. Earliest citation: Janice Brand, “Coming to a Sidewalk Near You: Warchalking”, CIO, January 1, 2003.

Streamies (n., affixation: ‘stream’ + ‘-y’ (plural)) – people who listen to Internet-based (i.e., streamed) radio or music broadcasts [6]. Earliest citation: Clea Simon, “Waiting for Web Radio to Click”, The Boston Globe, March 2, 2000.

Typosquatter (n., blend of ‘type’ and ‘squatter’) – a person who registers one or more Internet domain names based on the most common typographical errors that a user might commit when entering a company’s registered trademark name [6]. Earliest citation: Robert C. Cumbow, “‘Typosquatters’ Pose Threat to Trademark Owners on the Web”, New York Law Journal, October 13, 1998.

Ungoogleable (n., affixation: ‘un-’ + ‘Google’ + ‘-able’) – a person for whom no information appears in an Internet search engine, particularly Google [6]. Also: unGoogleable, ungooglable, unGoogle-able. Earliest citation: Ann Harrison, “‘unGoogleables’ Hide From Search”, Wired News, October 3, 2005.

Viewser (n., blend of ‘viewer’ and ‘user’) – a person who watches video content online or on a computer, or who combines regular TV watching with related digital content [6]. Earliest citation: Greg Roach, “Into the vortex”, New Scientist, September 23, 1995.

Dictionary search of the neologisms listed in the first group showed the following results. Out of 11 lexical units in this group only one has a definition included into the recorded vocabulary of Dictionary.com. Unfortunately, the other English-English online dictionary, Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, and both English-Ukrainian and English-Russian translation dictionaries of ABBYY Lingvo X3 suite showed no results.

Group 2. Activities that can be performed by Internet users of for Internet users.

Crowdfunding (pp., blend of ‘crowd’ and ‘funding’) – getting a large group of people to finance a project by using a website or other online tool to solicit funds [6]. Earliest citation: “Crowdfunding”, fundavlog, August 12, 2006.

Crowdsourcing (pp., affixation/blend of ‘crowd’ and ‘source’ + ‘-ing’) – obtaining labor, products, or content from people outside the company, particularly from a large group of customers or amateurs who work for little or no pay [6]. Earliest citation: Jeff Howe, “The Rise of Crowdsourcing”, Wired, June 1, 2006.

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Cyberbalkanization (n., blend of ‘cyber’ and ‘balkanization’) – the division of the Internet into narrowly focused groups of like-minded individuals who dislike or have little patience for outsiders [6]. Also: cyber-balkanization, cyberbalkans. Earliest citation: Gil Smart, “Living in our own little worlds”, Sunday News (Lancaster, PA), May 10, 1998.

Defriend (v., affixation: ‘de’ + ‘friend’) – to remove a person from one’s list of friends on a social networking site [6]. Also: de-friend. Earliest citation: Coell, “defriend”, Urban Dictionary, May 14, 2005.

Egosurfing (pp., affixation/blend of ‘ego’ and ‘surf’ +’-ing’) – conducting a search of the Internet for references to one’s name or works in order to gratify one’s ego [4]. Earliest citation: Maria O’Daniel, “Several reasons for going on egosurf trip”, New Straits Times, October 18, 1999.

Fleshmeet (n., blend of ‘flesh’ and ‘meet’) – a meeting in the flesh, especially one composed of people who usually or only converse online [6]. Earliest citation: Harley Jebens, “Web Browser”, The Los Angeles Times, October 17, 1996.

Gator (n., zero derivation/semantic change) – to display a company’s ad when a person visits a rival company’s Web site [6]. Earliest citation: Stefanie Olsen, “Web sites prey on rivals’ stores”, CNET News, August 7, 2001.

Tweetup (n., blend of ‘tweet’ and ‘up’) – a real world meeting between two or more people who know each other through the online Twitter service [6]. Earliest citation: Scott Monty, “Be the Ball, Danny”, The Social Media Marketing Blog, March 21, 2007.

Wikification (n., affixation: ‘wiki’ + ‘-fication’) – the process of opening online content to allow for collaboration from users; to turn an online site into a wiki [6]. Earliest citation: Jeff Jarvis, The Citizens’ Survey: Open-source polling, BuzzMachine, April 1, 2005.

Wikigroaning (n., affixation/blend of ‘Wikipedia’ and ‘groan’ + ‘-ing’) – the practice of locating two similar Wikipedia articles, one useful and the other relatively frivolous, where the frivolous article is substantially longer and more involved than the useful article [6]. Also: Wiki-groaning. Earliest citation: Jon Hendren, “The Art of Wikigroaning”, Something Awful, June 5, 2007.

Group 2 demonstrated slightly better results of dictionary search as to the number of recorded neologisms. By this we mean that word gator was found in all dictionaries, except for English-Ukrainian ABBYY Lingvo X3 version, and word egosurfing was cited in Dictionary.com and English-Russian ABBYY Lingvo X3 version. Unfortunately, only the definition and translation (better to say explication) in the two latter dictionaries reflected the actual nature of the Internet neologism, while gator was defined as a shortened form of word alligator having semantically nothing in common with the Internet.

Group 3. A style with which any kind of activity can be undertaken on the Internet.

Flame (n., zero derivation/semantic change) – an angry, critical, or disparaging electronic message, as an e-mail or newsgroup post [4, 5]. Earliest citation: Sam Vincent Meddis, “Space, colorful wonders and down-to-earth concerns”, USA Today, September 15, 1999.

Internetese (n., affixation: ‘Internet’ + ‘-ese’) – a style of writing prevalent in Web sites, e-mail messages, and online chat rooms [6]. Earliest citation: Doug Saunders, “The trouble with Harry”, The Globe and Mail, 1998.

Nanopublishing (n., blend of ‘nano’ and ‘publishing’) – a small-scale online publishing for a targeted audience, often involving blogs [4]. Also: nano-publishing. Earliest citation: Jim McClellan, “New biz on the blog”, The Guardian, January 30, 2003.

Phishing (pp., analogy/affixation: ‘phish’ (‘fish’) + ‘-ing’) – 1) the practice of luring unsuspecting Internet users to a fake Web site by using authentic-looking email with the real organization’s logo, in an attempt to steal passwords, financial or personal information, or introduce a virus attack; the creation of a Web site replica for fooling unsuspecting Internet users into submitting personal or financial information or passwords [4]; 2) a scam by which an e-mail user is duped into revealing personal or confidential information which the scammer can use illicitly [2]. Earliest citation: “AOL for free?”, alt.2600, January 28, 1996.

Spamdexing (pp., blend of ‘spam’ and ‘indexing’) – repeating a word dozens or even hundreds of times within a Web page [6]. Also: spam-dexing. Earliest citation: Eric Convey, “Porn sneaks way back on Web”, The Boston Herald, May 22, 1996.

Despite the fact that group 3 is the smallest one in the quantity of listed neologisms, dictionary search results are comparatively better than the results of the two previous groups. Two out of five lexical units, flame and phishing, have their relevant definitions in both online dictionaries reflecting their actual Internet-based nature, and an explication in English-Russian electronic dictionary. Additionally, Dictionary.com provides us with the definition of nanopublishing. It is particularly unfortunate to state that English-Ukrainian electronic dictionary again showed zero search results.

Group 4. Various properties or characteristics of the Internet itself or any other Internet-based object.

Breadcrumbing (n., affixation: ‘breadcrumb’ + ‘-ing’) – a navigation feature that displays a list of places a person has visited or the route a person has taken [6]. Earliest citation: “Global Positioning Maps: Lots of Fun and Glitches”, The New York Times, March 25, 1997.

Clickstream (n., blend of ‘click’ and ‘stream’) – the sequence of links that are clicked on while browsing a website or series of websites [4]. Earliest citation: Wayne Friedman and Jane Weaver, “Calculating cyberspace: tracking ‘clickstreams’.”, Inside Media, February 15, 1995.

Evernet (n., affixation: ‘ever-’ + ‘net’) – Internet access that is instantly and always available from a number of different devices [6]. Earliest citation: Thomas L. Friedman, “The Y2K Social Disease”, The New York Times, August 10, 1999.

Folksonomy (n., blend of ‘folks’ and ‘taxonomy’) – a type of classification system for online content, created by an individual user who tags information with freely chosen keywords; also, the cooperation of a group of people to create such a classification system [4]. Earliest citation: Gene Smith, “Folksonomy: social classification”, Atomiq.org, August 3, 2004.

Googleability (n., blend of ‘Google’ and ‘ability’) – the ease with which information about a person can be found on an Internet search engine, particularly Google [6]. Also: googlability, google-ability. Earliest citation: Jerry Bauer, “Cultural Literacy”, alt.fan.cecil-adams, June 25, 2001.

Googlejuice (n., blend of ‘Google’ and ‘juice’) – the presumed quality inherent in a Web site that enables it to appear at or near the top of search engine results, particularly those of the Google search engine [6]. Also: Google-juice, Google juice. Earliest citation: Praxis, “Scientology rewrites history”, alt.religion.scientology, September 25, 2002.

Mousetrapping (n., semantic change/derivation: ‘mousetrap’ + ‘-ing’) – a technique that forces a user to remain on a particular (and usually pornographic) Web page [6]. Earliest citation: “FTC shuts down pagejacking scheme”, CBS MarketWatch, September 22, 1999.

Netlag (n., blend of ‘net’ and ‘lag’) – a condition that occurs when the delays in the IRC network, a MUD connection, a telnet connection, or any other networked interactive system, become severe enough that servers briefly lose and then reestablish contact, causing messages to be delivered in bursts, often with delays of up to a minute [4]. Earliest citation: “Hurry Up and Wait”, The Phoenix Gazette, July 18, 1994.

Unstrung (adj., zero derivation/semantic change) – Describes a person or technology that uses wireless communications to access the Internet [6]. Earliest citation: Simon Romero, “Wireless Internet Casts Its Shadow, and Substance, in New York”, The New York Times, August 21, 2000.

The representation of new words from group 4 in the dictionaries is not large as well. There are only five words that have at least one definition or translation in the searched dictionaries; however, two of these five neologisms, unstrung and mousetrapping, are not reflected as Internet terms in any case. All dictionaries, including English-Ukrainian, provide a user only with the definition or translation of it as a past tense form of unstring. Dictionary.com showed positive search results concerning Internet terms clickstream, folksonomy and netlag. Word mousetrapping was also found in English-Russian electronic dictionary with appropriate explication of its meaning in Russian. English-Ukrainian version showed no results for Internet terms again.

Group 5. Objects by any means related to the Internet.

Captcha (acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart (on the Web at www.captcha.net)) – a computer-generated test that humans can pass but computer programs cannot. Also: CAPTCHA. Earliest citation: “Robot solves Internet robot problem”, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 21, 2001.

Chiclet (n., affixation: ‘chick’ + ‘-let’) – a small image that links to a syndication file for a web site, particularly a blog [6]. Earliest citation: Michael O’Connor Clarke, “RSS Feed finally enabled”, I Love Me, vol. I, March 31, 2003.

Collabulary (n., blend of ‘collaborative’ and ‘vocabulary’) – a common vocabulary with which Web users categorize the data they find online, particularly one created in collaboration with classification experts to ensure relevance and consistency [6].. Earliest citation: Casey Bisson, “Collabulary”, MaisonBisson, March 8, 2006.

Darknet (n., blend of ‘dark’ and ‘net’) – any network or software that illegally distributes copyrighted digital files, such as music, with protection against detection [4]. First use: Peter Biddle, Paul England, Marcus Peinado, and Bryan Willman, “The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution”, Digital Rights Management conference, November 22, 2002.

GooTube (n., blend of ‘Google’ and ‘YouTube’) – the business entity or web services created by the merger of Google and YouTube [6]. Earliest citation: “Rumor: Google To Buy YouTube?”, Gizmodo, October 6, 2006.

Heroinware (n., blend of ‘heroin’ and ‘ware’) – an extremely addictive online or computer game [6]. Also: heroin-ware. Earliest citation: Jerry Pournelle. “The annual Orchid and Onion Parade issues forth from Chaos Manor”, Byte, April 1994.

Meatspace (n., blend of ‘meat’ and ‘space’) – the physical world (as opposed virtual reality) where you might spend facetime with the carbon community [4]. First use: Douglas Barnes, “Austin Cyberspace Journal Newsletter”, austin.public-net, February 21, 1993.

Netco (n., blend of ‘net’ and ‘company’) – an Internet-based company [6]. Earliest citation: Brad Stone, “Dot-Coms Over a Barrel”, Newsweek, April 3, 2000.

Outernet (n., blend of ‘outer’ and ‘net’) – the traditional (i.e., non-Internet) media, including magazines, newspapers, books, television, and movies [6]. Earliest citation: 1996.

Spime (n., blend of ‘space’ and ‘time’) – a theoretical object that can be tracked precisely in space and time over the lifetime of the object [6]. Earliest citation: Bruce Sterling, “When Blobjects Rule the Earth”, SIGGRAPH, August 1, 2004.

Ubiquilink (n., blend of ‘ubiquitous’ and ‘link’) – a Web page link that appears on almost everyone’s hotlist [6]. Earliest citation: 1996.

Voken (n., blend of ‘virtual’ and ‘token’) – an animated image that appears over a Web page’s regular content and that, when clicked, takes the user to an advertisement or promotional site. Earliest citation: Bonnie Brownlee, “NRG launches site with eyeReturn”, Canada Stockwatch, July 25, 2000.

Wikiality (n., blend of ‘Wikipedia’ and ‘reality’) – reality as defined by a consensus, particularly in a collaborative endeavor such as Wikipedia [6]. Earliest citation: Stephen Colbert, “The Word”, The Colbert Report, July 31, 2006.

Within this last group only six words matched search results in Dictionary.com and English-Russian Lingvo translation dictionary. Words captcha and meatspace were found with relevant definitions and translations in Dictionary.com and Lingvo respectively. Only the definition of darknet as an Internet term was found in Dictionary.com. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and electronic English-Ukrainian ABBYY Lingvo X3 dictionary showed no results in this group.

Below is a table reflecting the number of Internet protologisms found in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Dictionary.com, English-Ukrainian and English-Russian ABBYY Lingvo X3 dictionaries including the total number of these units having at least one search result in the abovementioned dictionaries.

Table 1. The number of Internet protologisms found in English-English online dictionaries, and English-Ukrainian and English-Russian ABBYY Lingvo X3 dictionaries

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Dictionary.com

English-Ukrainian ABBYY Lingvo X3

English-Russian ABBYY Lingvo X3

Total

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

2

0.4

11

23

0

0

6

12.5

11

23

As it can be seen from the data above, only eleven out of forty-eight Internet protologisms we selected for study have from one to three dictionary search results which is only 23 per cent of the total number, and only two neologisms, namely flame and phishing, are represented in three of four dictionaries we analyzed. The results also showed that English-Ukrainian ABBYY Lingvo X3 electronic translation dictionary failed to show any positive search results.

Our structure analysis produced statistical results demonstrating quantitative data of the types of word formation used in building new Internet terms. The overwhelming majority of single-word Internet neologisms from our list have been formed by means of blending: 28 lexical units or 58.5 per cent of the total number. Second in quantity was affixation making 19 per cent, i.e. 9 new lexical units. Third in amount were neologisms formed by means of the combination of blending and affixation totaling 5 words or 10.5 per cent. Three Internet protologisms, or 6 per cent, were formed with the help of zero derivation/semantic change. The remaining three types of word formation, abbreviation, semantic change/affixation and analogy/affixation, each were used to build one word separately making 2 percent of the total number of neologisms.

Our statistical and analytic data collected during this research demonstrated some very important results. Firstly, there exists a very bi gap between the ‘birth’ of new Internet terms and their inclusion into online and electronic dictionaries, sometimes being equivalent to 10-16 years in time because of probable objective or subjective reasons. Secondly, a very small percentage of Internet neologisms appear in the dictionaries, and a very big percentage of them never do. Thirdly, English-Ukrainian ABBYY Lingvo X3 electronic dictionary included none of the investigated units. And lastly, the overwhelming majority of single-word Internet neologisms are formed by means of blending. Further researches can be dedicated to other than single-word Internet protologisms. They have good future prospects as there are many other domains of human life and activities that create new words every day.

References

  1. Зацний Ю. А. Сучасний англомовний світ і збагачення словникового складу / Ю. А. Зацний – Л.: ПАІС, 2007. – 228 с.
  2. Эпштейн М. Н. Типы новых слов: Опыт классификации [Електронний ресурс] / М. Н. Эпштейн // Топос — 2006. — Режим доступу до статті : http://www.topos.ru/article/5174
  3. ABBYY Lingvo X3. Багатомовна версія [Електронний ресурс] : Багатомовний електронний словник. 12 мов, 154 словники. – 2,18 Гбайта. – К. : ТОВ «АБІ Україна», 2008. – 1 електрон. опт. диск (DVD-ROM) ; 12 см. – Систем. вимоги: проц. з такт. част. 1 ГГц або вище ; Microsoft Windows Vista/Server 2003/XP ; 512 Mбайт ОЗП ; 230-1200 Мбайт ЖД ; Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0, 7.0 ; привід для DVD-дисків. – Назва з контейнера.
  4. Dictionary.com [Електронний ресурс] – Режим доступу : http://dictionary.reference.com
  5. Merriam-Webster Online [Електронний ресурс] – Режим доступу : http://www.merriam-webster.com
  6. Word Spy. Internet [Електронний ресурс] – Режим доступу : http://www.wordspy.com/categories/Internet.asp

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      Травень 4th, 2010 at 08:58 | #1

      I want to say thanks!,

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