Thursday, February 28, 2008

Earliest citations for SF words

The Oxford English Dictionary is trying to find the earliest usage of words now commonly related to science fiction:
Welcome to the new version of the Oxford English Dictionary's science fiction words site. The base project was originally set up so that knowledgeable aficionados could help the OED find useful examples of words in their fields of interest. This first project, and still the only public one, is devoted to science fiction.

While the original version of the site was focused on the OED's needs alone, this version should be of broader interest to anyone interested in science fiction, whether or not they are able to help the OED's research. The most notable change is that a view of an individual term will also pull in all the examples of that term collected for the OED's databases from science fiction sources. We are also making an attempt to rewrite entries to provide clearer definitions, background history, and more. Please stay with us as we continue to improve the site.

The OED aims to include all words that are frequently used in any field, and attempts to find the earliest example of every sense of every word it includes. For SF the OED needs earlier examples of terms it already includes, early examples of terms that have been slated for future inclusion, and any examples of terms that have not yet caught the editors' attention but are common in SF. Words used infrequently, words associated chiefly with a single author, or words so specialized that they are found only in a single subgenre, or in relation to a single author, movie, etc., are not high priorities for inclusion.
The list starts here.

Thanks to Brer via email.

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