The general knowledge of neologisms

From the history of notion and definition of neologism. Neologisms as markers of culture in contemporary system of language and speech. Using of the neologisms in different spheres of human activity. Analysis of computer neologisms in modern English.

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Research work

The general knowledge of neologisms


The nature of the Universe loves nothing so much

as to change the things which are and to make new things like them.

(Marcus Aurelius Antoninus)

neologism language english

Any language is a dynamic system, which constantly develops, transforms and changes. The processes in social, cultural, scientific and political life, the contemporary level of technology development and intercultural communication implies constant language evolution. Both linguistic and extralinguistic factors play a significant role in appearing new units in the language (neologisms). These new units help us to understand and cope with change by creating mental bridges between the old and the new. The language vocabulary is changing, renewing the words and phrases. Neologisms play a great role in the contemporary system of language and speech.

The term neologism is used by linguists to describe a new word, usage, or expression. It is often created by combining existing words or by using a word in a different context.Some neologisms have now become a part of Standard English, while others have faded away. In the same way, some of today's neologisms will become a part of the dictionaries of the 22nd century, while others will be discarded, replaced by more descriptive language.

The object of the research work is a neologism as a language unit.

The subject of the research is the peculiarities of using neologisms in different spheres of human activities, making close studying the computer neologisms.

The purpose of the research is to investigate the neologisms as language units.

In accordance with the purpose of the research there are the following tasks in the work:

- to determine the basic theoretical conceptions of the neologism;

- to investigate the classification and ways of formation of neologisms;

- to analyze the spheres of usage of the neologisms;

- to investigate the computer neologisms in particular and the peculiarities of their formation and translation.

In the present paper there were used the following methods of the research as analysis and synthesis, descriptive and comparative methods.

The list of neologisms found on the Internet resources is added in the Appendix. The list does not claim overall completeness or fullness, but it, however, can be the data of this research work. This list demonstrates different ways of computer neologisms formation and explains the meanings of these new words.

1. The general knowledge of neologisms

1.1 From the history of notion and definition of neologism

Our modern word rapidly changes, so does the language of a speech. The language change reflects every aspect of the changing life as well. New inventions and new discoveries have to be named and need proper vocabulary. New words (or neologisms) are raised by creativity of our minds and come into existence in everyday communication. They appear all the time continuously.

The words table, sky once were neologisms. But soon they became vital and widespread to be felt neologisms. Names of different fruit, species were new names of new concepts (pea, cherry, pepper). The introduction of Christianity brought with it a great number of new concepts and words (church, candle). The Norman Conquest also contributed to the enrichment of the English vocabulary (army).

The development of industry, the development of technology, new inventions caused the appearance of new words (film, television, self-starter). A great number of neologisms appeared during the periods of great social upheavals (machine, bank, investment). After the Bourgeois Revolution in France there appeared such words as bureaucracy, revolution, regime, terrorism.

After World War I such neologisms as blackout, camouflage, air-raid appeared. After World War II such words as H-bomb, the UNO, cold war entered the language.

In the 70-s of the 20th century neologisms were connected with all spheres of life: computerization (multi-user, neurocomputer, liveware, telepost, telebanking, finger-print); exploration of space (space-bike, cargo-module, link-up); development of the arts (soft art, action painting, kinetic art; development of cinema, TV, video (inflight videosystem, satellite-delivered show, kidvid); theatrical art (theatre of absurd, son et lumiere, revolve); social development (the Lib movement, libbie).

In the 70s libbies declared that the English language discriminated women. As a result of it the names denoting occupations and containing the element man underwent some changes. The word cameraman was substituted by operator, fireman - fire-fighter, chairman - chairperson, policeman - police officer. Even in church the word mankind was substituted by people. At the same time the names of women's professions were changed: stewardess - flight attendant, nurse - male nurse, male secretary. He/she in written speech is used when both sexes are meant. S/he variant is less frequently used.

In the 80-s - 90-s of the 20th century neologisms were connected with lifestyles (belonger, ladies who lunch, theme pub); computerisation (laptop, to back up, to toggle); economics (sunrise industry, sunset industry, dawn raid); music (acid house, MTV, New Age music); mass media (video nasty, video piracy, tabloid television); art (crossfader, body-popping); medicine (to burn out, PWA, ME); education (baker day, City technology college; fashion (body conscious, leisure wear); cookery (jacket crisp, tapas). New words are everywhere.

So, what kind of words can be defined as “neologisms”? Neologisms are words and expressions used for new concepts that appear in the course of the language development, new meanings of the already existing words and new names of old concepts.

Actually, the researchers have not been reached one general agreement on the question about neologism. Researchers with different knowledge backgrounds may define neologism in different ways.

Neologisms (from Greek neo = "new" + logos = "word") is word, term, or phrase which has been recently created - often to apply to new concepts, or to reshape older terms in newer language form.

The term "neologism" was itself coined around 1800; thus for some time in the early 19th century, the word "neologism" was itself a neologism. It can also refer to an existing word or phrase which has been assigned a new meaning.

In psychology, a neologism is a word invented by a person suffering from a language disorder, which may occur in the context of psychosis or aphasia acquired after brain damage; clinicians can sometimes use these neologisms, which often have meaning only to the subject, as clues to determine the nature of the disorder.

In theology, a neologism is a relatively new doctrine (for example, rationalism, also known as the rationalist movement, is a philosophical doctrine that asserts that the truth can best be discovered by reason and factual analysis, rather than faith, dogma or religious teaching.). In this sense, a neologist is an innovator in the area of a doctrine or belief system, and is often considered heretical or subversive by the mainstream church.

In linguistics a neologism (from Greek нЭп- (neo-), meaning "new", and льгпт (logos), meaning "speech, utterance") is a newly coined term, word, or phrase, that may be in the process of entering common use, but has not yet been accepted into mainstream language. Neologisms are often directly attributable to a specific person, publication, period, or event. Neolexia (Greek: a "new word", or the act of creating a new word) is a fully equivalent term (15). «A neologism is the term used to describe a word that has been made-up or invented by a speaker, which appears in a transcript of spontaneous speech dialogue. It can also be described as a word which does not appear in the dictionary of the primary spoken language, but which is also not a foreign word» (16).

The common thing is that neologism is not yet registered in dictionaries and in most cases it is a colloquial for the time being.

The term neologism is first attested in English in 1772, borrowed from French neologisme (1734). However, as early as the second half of the 18th century, it became obvious that the vocabulary of literary expression should and perhaps could not be fully limited.

The modern, neutral meaning of neologism appears early in the 19th century. The basic complications during the translation of neologisms, it is the explaining of the meaning of the new word.

Neologisms are especially useful in identifying inventions, new phenomena, or old ideas which have taken on a new cultural context. In general, neologisms may be introduced into English vocabulary because of the rapid progress of modern science and technology, political struggle, changes in social habits, economic development, etc. New words are being invented or introduced all the time.

However, those old words that hold the new meaning are also considered as neologisms. So far a general criterion for defining neologisms can be found: 1) neologisms are the words which didn't occur before and are newly built and currently enter into the common lexicons. 2) Neologisms are the words which within a certain period of time, have been widely accepted by people and still find their applications nowadays. 3) Neologisms are those old words which carry the new meanings.

As for the time of criteria for seclusion of new-foundation and neologism exactly to decide it is impossible, it has a sense to use subjective criteria: if it receive the collective language consciousness this or that lexical unit as a new.

For the sequent we will name it with the term `'neologism'', any word for their comfort have the statue of lexical new-foundation, as the quality of own neologism.

The basic complications during the translation of neologisms, it is the explaining of the meaning of the new word.

Particularly the translation of neologism, which meaning has already known to translator, the mission is easier and it solves by the way of using means, being suspended for the type of the word which belongs to that neologism.

If the new word absents in English-Russian dictionary, as it is need to try to find it in English-English dictionary.

There are `'New words Sections'' in many famous dictionaries. In that time recommends to use dictionaries of the last issue. Many neologisms we can find in dictionaries and sections about slangs. However, the dictionaries in objective causes can't wholly show in their all new-founded words, as for that lexis avoid to include in dictionaries such called `'occasional'' neologisms, individual new-founded, brought by the individual authors, such words also turns `'unlivable words'' and disappear as fast as they appear. Coming out from the term `'neologism'' we can assume, that the translator first meet with his own neologism, naturally he has no imagination, about that which is explained by him.

The translation of neologism, which meaning has already known to translator, the mission is easier and it solves by the way of using means, being suspended for the type of the word which belongs to that neologism. Neologisms often become accepted parts of the language. Other times, however, they disappear from common usage.

Whether or not a neologism continues as part of the language depends on many factors, probably the most important of which is acceptance by the public. Acceptance by linguistic experts and incorporation into dictionaries also plays a part, as does whether the phenomenon described by a neologism remains current, thus continuing to need a descriptor. It is unusual, however, for a word to enter common use if it does not resemble another word or words in an identifiable way. (In some cases however, strange new words succeed because the idea behind them is especially memorable or exciting). When a word or phrase is no longer "new," it is no longer a neologism.

Neologisms may take decades to become "old," though. Opinions differ on exactly how old a word must be to no longer be considered a neologism; cultural acceptance probably plays a more important role than time in this regard.

After being coined, neologisms invariably undergo scrutiny by the public and by linguists to determine their suitability to the language. Many are accepted very quickly; others attract opposition. Language experts sometimes object to a neologism on the grounds that a suitable term for the thing described already exists in the language. Non-experts who dislike the neologism sometimes also use this argument, deriding the neologism as "abuse and ignorance of the language.

Proponents of a neologism see it as being useful, and also helping the language to grow and change; often they perceive these words as being a fun and creative way to play with a language. Also, the semantic precision of most neologisms, along with what is usually a straightforward syntax, often makes them easier to grasp by people who are not native speakers of the language.

The outcome of these debates, when they occur, has a great deal of influence on whether a neologism eventually becomes an accepted part of the language. Linguists may sometimes delay acceptance, for instance by refusing to include the neologism in dictionaries; this can sometimes cause a neologism to die out over time. Nevertheless if the public continues to use the term, it always eventually sheds its status as a neologism and enters the language even over the objections of language experts.

1.2 The Classification of English Neologisms

The English vocabulary has surpassed the number of 500,000 words with jargons excluded. According to the statistics of The Barnhart Dictionary Companion, there are 1,500 to 1,600 words and meanings inputting into the computer database each year (12). Classification of neologisms usually is made according to the following four standards:

1) Neologisms can be classified according to their functions. Innumerable neologisms can be classified as either referential or expressive. Referential neologisms are neologisms created to fill the gap in a specific special field. They are produced to solve communication difficulties, for example, “core dump” (to clear out a computer's memory). Expressive neologisms are neologisms developed to introduce new forms of expression into discourse, for example, “open collar workers” (people who work at home or telecommute).

2) Neologisms can be classified according to their coinage processes. New words and expressions coming from old words and expressions but with new meanings. For example, “killer” (adj, very cool, powerful). New created words and expressions which are invented to describe new ideas and things, for example, “internet”, “I-way” (short form of information superhighway), and “411” (the latest information of gossip). Borrowed words and expressions, for example, “masterpiece”, “Mao-tai”, and “haman” .

3) Neologism can be classified according to their formation. Neologisms in form, including the following structures: derivations (with prefixes and suffixes); compounds; phrases; shortenings (using initialisms, acronyms, clippings). For example, “Pekingology”, “educationese” and “hard science”. Semantic neologisms, including three types of processes: broadening or narrowing or change the meaning of the base form. For example, “feedback”, “window”, “fallout”. Borrowed neologisms, which are true borrowings and loan translations. For example, “masterpiece”, “perestroika”.

4) Neologisms can be classified according to their sources, that is, according to where they come from. Scientific words or phrases created to describe new scientific discoveries or inventions, for example: “Bluetooth”, “Broadband network”, “IW”, “Melatonin”, “Cyberstalking” .

1.3The ways of formation of neologisms

It is interesting to discuss how new words are formed. In any language, people express a new idea, describe a new process, and market a new product through three ways. A single way or a combination of any of these ways can produce large number of polysemous words. In general, there are three main methods of new word creation:

1) By adding new meaning to existing words. Additional meanings are appended to the existing words. Many of the new words added to the ever-growing lexicon of the English language are just created from scratch, and often have little or no etymological pedigree. A good example is the word dog, etymologically unrelated to any other known word, which, in the late Middle Ages, suddenly and mysteriously displaced the Old English word hound (or hund) which had served for centuries. Some of the commonest words in the language arrived in a similarly inexplicable way (e.g. jaw, askance, tantrum, conundrum, bad, big, donkey, kick, slum, log, dodge, fuss, prod, hunch, freak, bludgeon, slang, puzzle, surf, pour, slouch, bash, etc).Words like gadget, blimp, raunchy, scam, nifty, zit, clobber, gimmick, jazz and googol have all appeared in the last century or two with no apparent etymology, and are more recent examples of this kind of novel creation of words. Additionally, some words that have existed for centuries in regional dialects or as rarely used terms, suddenly enter into popular use for little or no apparent reason (e.g. scrounge and seep, both old but obscure English words, suddenly came into general use in the early 20th Century).Sometimes, if infrequently, a "nonce word" (created "for the nonce", and not expected to be re-used or generalized) does become incorporated into the language. One example is James Joyce's invention quark, which was later adopted by the physicist Murray Gell-Mann to name a new class of sub-atomic particle, and another is blurb, which dates back to 1907.

Аnother well - known examples: English: footprint - an impact on our planet; Russian: мыло ("an email" - the new IT-slang meaning; "a soap" - the traditional meaning).

2) By borrowing words from other languages. New words are borrowed from other languages. It is a common way in vocabulary enlargement when the native language is unable to express the new and translation is still on the way to come out. It is possible to concern borrowings which are characterized by untypical for the English language by the distribution, by the morphological division and absence of motivation to strong neologisms. And although on this stage borrowings are on periphery of lexical system, they are still an integral part of innovations. For the last decade growth of borrowings from Japanese and Spanish has taking place. The main centers of attraction for new borrowings are: 1) art and culture: cinemateque (from French), karaoke (from Japanese); 2) social and political life: Ossi, Wessi (from German) - denotation of citizen of the East and West Germany; fatwa (from Arabic) - a legal decision or ruling given by Islamic religious leader; karoshi (from Japanese) - death caused by overwork or job-related exhaustion; 3) everyday life: taqueria (from Spanish) - a restaurant specializing in Mexican food, particularly tacos; otaku (from Japanese) - people who are obsessed with the trivia of a particular hobby; geek (from Danish) - unfashionable, boring or socially inept person;4) scientific and technical borrowings: biogeocenose (from Russian) - ecological system.

The result of borrowings is not only the addition to lexical composition of the language, the stylish colouring of lexical units changes in the process of borrowing and their inner structure homonymical relations are formed, that promotes, the variation of lexical units and partly predetermines it.

3) By rules of word-formation. The language produces new words by means of its formation rules. It is the need of society and the impetus of development of the language itself.

New words are being made up all the time. The shapes of words we know lead us to shape new words. John Algeo, a leading scholar of new words, has demonstrated that almost all new words have familiar origins (10). They are extensions of our established vocabular rather than completely new creations. The expansion of vocabulary in modern English depends chiefly on word-formation. There is variety of means being at work now. The most productive are affixation, compounding and conversion. According to Pyles and Algeo (10), words produced through affixation constitute 30% to 40% of the total number of new words; compounding yields 28% to 30% of all the new words; conversion gives us 26% of the new vocabulary. The rest of the new words come from shortening including clipping and acronymy, amounting to 8% to 10%, together with 1% to 5% of words born out of blending and other means. In the following pages those commonly used ways of word-formation will be investigated with examples for the purpose of a well explanation.


Affixation is generally defined as the formation of words by adding derivational affixes to stems. Affixation is an effective way to increase the English vocabulary. Over 100 affixes exist in English, dozens of which are the most active, for example, a-, an-, au-, be-, co-, com-, con-, counter-, de-, dis-, en-, e-, inter- and so on. According to the positions which affixes occupy in words, affixation falls into two subclasses: 1) prefixation and 2) suffixation.

1) Prefixation is the formation of new words by adding prefixes to stems. Prefixes do not generally change the word-class of the stem but only modify its meaning. It allows us to expand our vocabulary without specifically memorizing new words. However, present-day English finds an increasing number of class-changing prefixes, e.g. asleep a (a-+v), encourage v (en-+ n), unearth v (un-+n), de-oil v (de-+n), postwar a(post-+n), intercollege a (inter-+ti) and others. These make up only an insignificant number in the huge contemporary vocabulary. By the way of prefixation any new word, whatever its source, may almost immediately become the nucleus of a cluster of derivatives. Prefixes like pro- and docu- have been used to create words like prosultant and docudrama. Let's have a look at some examples:

Cyberspeak=prefix: cyber- + speak

Hyperlink=prefix: hyper- + link

Internot=prefix: inter- + not

Intranet=prefix: intra- + net

Unwired=prefix: un- + wired

The development of computer circle is beyond people's imagination. So is the production of affixes related with it. Originated in “computer”, “compu-” has formed many words, such as compudisk, computalk, computicket, compuword, compuspeak, computistical, computopia, computopolites.

As ecological issues are put on the important agenda, words related to “eco” are gaining more concerns. If people are not careful about their eco-activities, they may suffer ecocatastrophe. When ecoatmosphere and ecoclimate are destroyed, some species will come to ecocide and thus ecocrisis happens. At present, many ecologists are appealing for ecodevelopment (economic + ecological +development) in order for the eco-economic comprehensive benefit. Now many kinds of food sold at market as labeled Ecology Mark (chemical-free commodity). Ecotourism is getting popular in recent few years.

Another striking example is the prefix “e- which indicates something in the world of the Internet. With the benefit of hindsight, we now know that a more significant 1990 entry in the vocabulary was the prefix e- applied not just to e-mail (in use since 1982) but e-text and later e-payment, e-commerce, e-currency, and the like. According to a 2001 note in the Oxford English Dictionary, this e- was perhaps the most productive element in word Ѓ|formation of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

2) Suffixation is the formation of new words by adding suffixes to stems. Unlike prefixes which primarily change the meaning of the stem, suffixes have only a small semantic role, their primary function being to change the grammatical function of stems. In other words, they mainly change the word class. Therefore, we shall group suffixes on a grammatical basis into noun suffixes, verb suffixes, adjective suffixes, etc. by noun suffix or adjective, we mean that when the suffix under discussion is added to the stem, whatever class it belongs to, the result will be a noun or an adjective.

In modern English, there are some seemingly productive vogue affixes like -nik (a person who becomes devoted to or a member of), which gives birth to quite a few words such as folknik (one fond of folk music), peacenik (devotee to peace), jazznik (jazz fan), protestnik (one who protests against sth.). But most of them, if not all, are still considered slang and have not been widely accepted. Therefore, they are not listed here. Familiar suffixes like -ism, -ed, and -aholic have helped create new words like ableism, gendered, and shopaholic. Let's take

-ate for a more detailed discussion. The lure of creation with familiar elements is almost irresistible. Consider the suffix -ate, for example. It means action! The -ate changes a noun or adjective to a verb, thus making a new word (and often requiring minor changes to the end of the original word in the process). Put it at the end of a quiet word, and it springs into action. Add it to the noun origin, and you originate something; to the adjective valid, and you can validate what you originated. If it's active, you can activate it; if it's alien, you can alinate it; if it's equivocal, you can equivocate. And so on. Even when you can't separate the suffix from the rest of the word, a word ending in -ate usually means action.


Compounding, also called composition, is the formation of new words by joining two or more stems. Words formed in this way are called compounds. Silkworm and honeybee are compounds; so are tear gas and easy chair. These examples show that compounds can be written solid (silkworm), hyphenated (honey-bee) and open (tear gas and easy chair). Moonlighting is a compound, as is scofflaw and doublespeak.

Compounding can take place within any of the word classes, e.g. prepositions as without, throughout; conjunctions as however, moreover; pronouns as oneself, somebody; but the productive ones are nouns and adjectives followed on a rich variety of patterns and the internal grammatical relationship within the words are considerably complex.


Conversion is the formation of new words by converting words of one class to another class. This is a method of turning words of one part of speech to those of a different part of speech. These words are new only in a grammatical sense. Since the late Middle English period, when most of the inflections surviving from Old English finally disappeared, it has been easy to shift a word from one part of speech to another without altering form. Such method of word-formation is particularly productive in modern English. Conversion as the method of coinage of new words by derivation has considerably reduced its activity for the last years. Active models are mutual transitions of nouns and verbs, V>N and N>V: drive-by (a shooting carried out from a moving vehicle), add-in (something which is added to a computer or other system to improve in capabilities or perfomance), to mouse (to carry out by using a mouse), to reskill (to retrain workers in the skills required by a modern business). A new model appears: shortening of the phrase and substantivation of the adjective A>N, for example: plastic (credit cards, debit cards, and other plastic cards which can be used in place of money to pay for goods and services).

Shortening as a result of the action of the law of language economy are also widely used among the word building methods of coinage neologisms. Thus a word has a tendency to shortening both initial and final elements of the structure. For example, burb - a suburb, a suburban area; rad - really good or exciting; cool, hip, awesome (from "radical"). Some innovations assimilate in the language, getting new signs: diss (an insult or put-down, from "disrespect"), or skell (a homeless person, a derelict, from "skeleton"). The others remain changeable shortened variants of existing equivalents in the language: aero (aerodynamic in design or appearance), impro (a form of live entertainment based on improvisation and interaction with the audience). It worth mentioning that the shortened words are most often used in the colloquial speech in the case when the speakers exactly know, what the question is about, and there is no need to use the initial variant of the certain word.

Acronymy is also rather active method of word building and words-acronyms are often spread among linguists and become current, at first as fashionable words (buzz-words), later as comfortable colloquial forms. For example, FOB (a supporter of President William Jefferson Clinton; from "Friend Of Bill"), FAQ (a document, usually in electronic form online, containing a list of questions most often asked about a particular subject, usually with answers to them; from "Frequently Asked Questions") Acronyms from current phrases, also exist and function in the language, as for example: BTW (by the way) or TINA (there is no alternative).

Some of the ways of forming new words in present - day English can be resorted to for the creation of new words whenever the occasion demands - these are called productive ways of forming words. Other ways of forming words cannot produce new words as readily and these are commonly termed non-productive or unproductive. For instance, affixation has been a productive way of forming new words ever since the Old English period, whereas, sound-interchange must have been at one time a productive word-building means but in Modern English its function is actually only to distinguish between different classes and forms of words.

It follows that productivity of word-building ways, individual derivational patterns and derivational affixes is understood as their ability of making new words which all who speak English find no difficulty in understanding , in particular their ability to create what is called occasional words or nonce-words (more unstable, serve the immediate purpose as compared to neologisms, but the border is very slight). The term means that the speaker coins such words when he needs them, if on another occasion the same word is needed again, he coins it afresh. Needless to say dictionaries do not as a rule record occasonal words.The following words may serve as illustration: collarless (appearance), a Dickensish ( office), to unlearn ( the rules), etc.

Such word building method as blanding is rather widespread in the modern English, for example: Japanimation (animated cartoons produced in Japan). Thus both models with truncating of the component and models with truncating of both elements are active. In the first case first part of the compound word can be unchangeable (for example, netizen - network user, from "net" + "(cit)izen", mokney - inauthentic and affected imitation of cockney, from "mock" + "(cock)ney"), or its final element (for example, feminazi - a radical feminist, from "femi(nist)" + "nazi", emergicenter - a clinic offering emergency outpatient treatment, from "emerg(ency)" + "center"). Making up of the new telescope words has been activating during the last decades, where both elements are the subject to truncating, namely the final truncating of the first component and initial truncating of the following: edutainment (entertainment with an educational aspect; from "edu(cation)" + "(enter)tainment"), vegelate (chocolate which contains a certain proportion of vegetable fat other than cocoa butter, from "vege(table)" + "choco(late)").

We should also mention the reason why such word building ways as shortening, acronyms and blendings are so productive. It can be explained by their brevity and it is due to the ever-increasing tempo of modern life. In meeting the needs of communication and fulfilling the laws of information theory requiring a maximum signal in the minimum time the lexical system undergoes modification in its basic structure: namely it forms new elements not by their combining existing morphemes and proceeding from sound forms to their graphic representation but the other way round- coining new words form the initial letters of phrasal terms originating in texts. (7, p. 144).

The amount of neologisms on different topical groups depends on the development intensity of the corresponding kinds of people's activity and on the degree of changes in the way of life of the society. It is worth mentioning that for the last time it gets more complicated to separate exactly terminological and current vocabulary as the wide usage of everyday technique is followed by the penetration of the great amount of the technical words in the everyday vocabulary. Popular-science TV-programs and articles of media also help the appearance of diffusion of words into the everyday colloquial speech. In general, according to the laws of language development there exist mechanisms which regulate the addition and anewing of the vocabulary thanks to the semantical innovations, supporting them in corresponding activity. Some of the new meanings of the old words become an integral part of the language, the others can find the resistance in the language usage.

2. Neologisms in contemporary system of language and speech

2.1 Using of the neologisms in different spheres of human activity

There are many factors, which shape the development of language and have influence on it. All progressive things in different aspects and spheres of life reflected the vocabulary and language itself. Neologisms tend to occur more often in cultures which are rapidly changing, and also in situations where there is easy and fast propagation of information. Neologisms often become popular by way of mass media, the Internet, or word of mouth. Every word in a language was, at some time, a neologism, though most of these ceased to be such through time and acceptance. As for the time of criteria for seclusion of new-foundation and neologism exactly to decide it is impossible, it has a sense to use subjective criteria: if it receive the collective language consciousness this or that lexical unit as a new.

The new-foundation, if it results in periphery, as it gets more fasten demands and unchangeable in word fond. New-foundations (neologisms) presented in the language of science, techniques, art, politic, and in the same time as a neologism in speaking language. So we can distinguish the following types of neologisms:

· Scientific -- words or phrases created to describe new scientific discoveries or inventions. Examples:

o black hole (1968). A black hole is a concentration of mass great enough that the force of gravity prevents anything from escaping from it except through quantum tunneling behavior.

o laser (1960). A LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is an optical source that emits photons in a coherent beam.

o quark (1960). Quarks are one of the two basic constituents of matter in the Standard Model of particle physics.

o radar (1941). It is a system used to detect, range (determine the distance of), and map objects such as aircraft and rain.

o posterized. Posterization occurs when a region of an image with a continuous gradation of tone is replaced with several regions of fewer tones, resulting in an abrupt change from one tone to another. This creates an effect somewhat similar to that of a simple graphic poster.

o beetle bank (early 1990s). In agriculture, a beetle bank is a strip of grass or perennials in a field that provide habitat which fosters and provides cover for insects hostile to pests. They are used as a form of biological pest control to reduce or replace the use of insecticides.

Science fiction concepts created to describe new, futuristic ideas. Examples:

· Ringworld (1971) Ringworld is a Hugo and Nebula award-winning 1970 science fiction novel by Larry Niven, set in his Known Space universe. The work is widely considered one of the classics of science fiction literature. It is followed by three sequels, and it ties in to numerous other books in the Known Space universe.

· Dyson Sphere (circa 1960) A Dyson sphere is a hypothetical megastructure first described in 1960 by the physicist Freeman Dyson in a short paper published in the journal Science entitled "Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infra-Red Radiation". Another examples:

· cyperspace (1934)

· robotics (1941)

· waldo (1942)

· ansible (1966)

· phaser (1966)

· ringworld (1971)

· replicant (1982)

· cyberspace (1984)

· xenocide (1991)

· metaverse (1992)

Political -- words or phrases created to make some kind of political or rhetorical point. Example:

· political correctness (1990). Political correctness (also politically correct, P.C. or PC) is a term used in English-speaking countries to describe real or perceived attempts to impose limits on the acceptable language and terms used in public discussion. While it usually refers to a linguistic phenomenon, it is sometimes extended to cover political ideology or public behavior.

· sie and hir (neologisms). Sie and hir are two terms proposed to serve as gender-neutral third person singular personal pronouns in English . These neologisms are used by some people who feel that there are problems with gender-specific pronouns because they imply sex and/or gender. However, sie and hir are very rare compared to other solutions and most commentators feel that it is unlikely that they will catch on.

· meritocracy (1958) As the suffix "-cracy" implies, meritocracy is strictly speaking a system of government based on rule by ability (merit) rather than by wealth or social position. In this context, "merit" means roughly intelligence plus effort. However, the word "meritocracy" is now often used to describe a type of society where wealth, income, and social status are assigned through competition, on the assumption that the winners do indeed deserve (merit) their resulting advantage. As a result, the word has acquired a connotation of Social Darwinism, and is used to describe aggressively competitive societies, with large inequality of income and wealth, contrasted with egalitarian societies.

· dog-whistle politics (1990). Dog-whistle politics is a term used to describe a type of political campaigning which is "only heard" by a specific intended audience. It is usually used pejoratively by those that do not approve of the tactics.

· genocide. Genocide is the systematic killing of substantial numbers of people on the basis of ethnicity, religion, political opinion, social status or other particularity.

Pop-culture -- words or phrases evolved from mass media content or used to describe popular culture phenomena (these may be considered a subsection of slang). Examples:

· jumping the shark. Jumping the shark is a metaphor used by US television critics and fans since the 1990s. The phrase, popularized by Jon Hein on his website,, is used to describe the moment when a pop culture icon, originally a TV show or similar episodic medium, is in retrospect judged to have passed its "peak" and shows a noticeable decline in quality, or when it has undergone too many changes that take away the original charm and interest.

· Chuck Cunningham syndrome. Chuck Cunningham syndrome is a term that refers to a television series in which a main character or a character otherwise important to the show's plot is removed without explanation. The term comes from the character Chuck Cunningham in the American television series, Happy Days.

· Baldwin (a good-looking man, such as one of the Baldwin family of actors)

· Scooby Gang (a group which humorously resembles the teens on the cartoon Scooby-Doo)

Imported -- words or phrases originating in another language. Typically they are used to express ideas that have no equivalent term in the native language. Examples:

· zen (1727). Zen is the Japanese name of a well known branch of Buddhist schools, practiced originally in China, and subsequently in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Zen emphasizes the role of sitting meditation (zazen) in pursuing enlightenment. Zen can be considered a religion, a philosophy, or simply a practice depending on one's perspective. It has also been described as a way of life, work, and an art form. Zen is the common name for this branch of Buddhism in Japanese as well as in English. However, in the last half of the 20th century, Zen has become an international phenomenon, with centers in many countries around the world.

· anime (1988). Anime - is Japanese animation, sometimes referred to by the portmanteau Japanimation. It is often characterized by stylized colorful images depicting vibrant characters in a variety of different settings and storylines, aimed at a wide range of audiences. Anime is usually influenced by Japanese comics known as manga.

· detente (1960s). Detente is French for relaxation. It was also the general reduction in the tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and a weakening of the Cold War, occurring from the late 1960s until the start of the 1980s. More generally, it may be applied to any international situation where previously hostile nations not involved in an open war "warm up" to each other and threats de-escalate.

Trademarks are often neologisms to ensure they are distinguished from other brands. If legal trademark protection is lost, the neologism may enter the language as a genericized trademark.

Example: Laundromat. A laundromat (U.S.), launderette (British), Washette (Southeastern U.S.) or washateria (Southwestern U.S.) is a store where clothes are washed and dried. This is often done by coin operated machines that are worked by the client. Laundromats may have a staff to wash the clothing; this is referred to as Fluff-n-Fold or drop-off service. Laundries are equipped with both washing machines and dryers, usually specialized ones designed to survive heavy use.


Many neologisms have come from popular literature, and tend to appear in different forms. Most commonly, they are simply taken from a word used in the narrative of a book; for instance, McJob(McJob is slang for a low-pay, low-prestige job that requires few skills and offers very little chance of intracompany advancement. The term comes from the fast-food restaurant McDonald's, but applies to any low-status job where little training is required and workers' activities are tightly regulated by managers. Most perceived McJobs are in the service industry, particularly fast food, copy shops, and retail sales.) from Douglas Coupland's Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture and cyberspace from William Gibson's Neuromancer. Sometimes the title of the book will become the neologism. Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky" has been called "the king of neologistic poems" as it incorporated some dozens of invented words.

· Nonce words -- words coined and used only for a particular occasion, usually for a special literary effect.

· Inverted -- words that are derived from spelling (and pronouncing) a standard word backwards. Example: redrum

· Paleologism - a word that is alleged to be a neologism but turns out to be a long-used (if obscure) word. Used ironically.

2.2 Analysis of computer neologisms in modern English

Scientific and technical revolution as one of the major phenomena of the present makes essential changes to the linguistic model of the world. There are many factors, which shape the development of a language. In particular, the rapid development of new computer technologies and methods for processing information inevitably influences the formation of new words and lexical meanings. The influence of these factors is increasing, however, since technological and scientific progress goes on faster now than ever before in history and especially technology's influence in our lives is increasing.

In this paper I am taking a look into neologisms created by one field of modern technology and science that is very popular: the Internet and computer science. Technical terminology is closely related to the development of science. The creation of new terms should go hand in hand with such development, though this would be complicated for terminologists, translators and linguists, since technologies and science advance at such a rapid pace that by the time they gather the information to try to create glossaries or terminology databases, their content may be obsolete.

In the recent years, for example, computer technology has added a significant number of new terms to the language. "Webinar," "malware," "netroots", and "blogosphere" are just a few examples of modern-day neologisms that have been integrated into the modern English language. But the appearance of new words doesn't only enrich the vocabulary of language, but also implies a serious problem for translators in finding lexical equivalents of neologisms in the target language.

The translation of neologisms in general and of IT neologisms in particular, is a translator's most difficult task due to their characteristic of newness. For this reason, the translator has to find ways to transfer the whole denotation of the terms into the target language so that receptors can understand them. Usually interpreters come across the problem of being unable to find a suitable equivalent in the source language. Thus, they are to use lexical and lexica-grammatical transformations in order to convey the meaning implied by the author of the message.

A problem of translation of new words which appear in the sphere of computer technologies ranks high on the list of challenges facing translators because such words are not readily found even in the newest specialized dictionaries. Dictionaries lag behind changes in languages as they can not register the new words immediately. Therefore, translators have to find out the meaning of very new neologisms mainly based on the context (a sentence, paragraph, chapter or even the whole document) in which the word is used. Neologisms are usually formed on the basis of words and morphemes that already exist in the language (googling, HTML, hyperlink). Correspondingly, the analysis of these words and morphemes is an additional helpful tool in finding out and transferring the meaning of the neologism used by the author.

Obviously, there is no such thing as an absolute rule for dealing with technical neologism. However, there are some strategies that should be taken into consideration to make the translation more and more effective. Firstly, the translator should give special treatment to neologisms that are key terms in the text. Secondly, he should find out the definition of the primary neologisms to understand their meanings and pay attention to recognized translations of the terms before producing his own one. Finally, he should acknowledge for whom his translation is, that is who the target reader is. There may be other factors that also determine the appropriate translation of a technical neologism, but the three enumerated above are among the most important ones.

Finally, it has to be underlined that the translation of technical neologisms is especially important to technical translators, who are mostly engaged in the new technology transfer process. Together with such a rapid development of science and technology at present, new terminologies appear in unquantifiable numbers to nominate new objects and phenomena, new processes and new inventions. Thus it is definitely a very complicated and uneasy task.Конец формы

Appendix 1 comprises examples of different neologisms. These examples illustrate the practical using of such peculiarities and typical features. Thus, we can see that the most common feature used in such neologisms is compounding. There is the most frequently found peculiarity. We think that it is because of the language aspiration for reduction (or shortening).

These are some examples:

Unstrung - Describes a person or technology that uses wireless communications to access the Internet. (conv)

Ungoogleable - A person for whom no information appears in an Internet search engine, particularly Google.(comp+pref)

Bytewad - a tightwad with bytes (comp) byte+wad

Bitcom - a short, sitcom-style video available over the internet (comp) bit+computer

Compunicator - The next great patented technology (bw+comp)

Cyberpark - A large area of land where computer and technology companies are concentrated, or that has been constructed with a high-tech communications infrastructure (comp) cyber+park

Cybersquatting - The practice of obtaining and holding an Internet domain name that uses a company's registered trademark name. Also: cyber-squatting.

Cyberpiracy - The purchase of an Internet domain name that includes a company's registered trademark name, with the intention of selling the domain name to the company. Also: cyber-piracy or cyber piracy. --cyberpirate, n. Also: cyber-pirate or cyber pirate.

Facial technology - The technology required to identify and track a person using face recognition techniques. (comp)

Fakester - 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. (bd+suff)

Hot spot - A Web site that experiences a massive surge in traffic, usually in response to an event or promotion. (comp)

Hyperscript - A hypertextual manuscript. (af)

Lifecasting - Using a portable camera to broadcast one`s activities over the Internet 24 hours a day. (comp) life+cast

Link rot - The gradual obsolescence of the link on a Web page as the sites they point to become unavailable. (wc)

Metamail - An e-mail that is referring to other e-mails (af)

Mobisode - A short program, or the edited highlights from a longer program, designed to be watched on a small, mobile screen such as a digital media player or a mobile phone (comp) mobile+episode

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