Of Neologisms

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Lucus Eques
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Of Neologisms

Post by Lucus Eques » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:32 am

ΧαίÏ￾ετε, παντες !

In my field of Geology, I am constantly bombarded by neologisms of Greek and Latin origin (and far too often of bastardized hybridization — can anyone comfortably explain to me the etymology of stratosphere?). I'd like to pick some Hellenistic brains here for helping me to determine some better alternatives we might employ instead.

The first:

SEISMICITY

We have á½￾ σεισμὸς for "earthquake" and σεισμικὸς for "seismic" — all well and good. Then some fool, apparently in 1902 according to Webster, tacked on the infelicitous Latin '-icity' suffix and all went to hell.

What would be the fully Greek alternative?
L. Amadeus Ranierius

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Lucus Eques
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Post by Lucus Eques » Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:17 am

I have another one for you:

MINERALOGY
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Post by timeodanaos » Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:34 am

Don't worry - they don't claim it to be Greek or Latin. It's called INTERLATIN.

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Post by ThomasGR » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:23 pm

Seismicity= σεισμικότητα

I think it is more a problem of the English language. Transliterating the Greek equivalent and using seismicoteta would sound real horrible, whereas seismicability could be more usable, but still the suffix –icity is fully integrated into the English language.


Btw- mineralogy=metalleiology? This could be replaced.

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Re: Of Neologisms

Post by annis » Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:32 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:I'd like to pick some Hellenistic brains here for helping me to determine some better alternatives we might employ instead.
To what end? Even when linguistic chimeras are avoided, technical and scientific vocabulary pilfer Greek and Latin largely for convenience. You get a new word that has no other meanings to confuse people with.

I'll always remember wandering with a friend through a giant orchid greenhouse. There was some pretty little thing, and checked out the name: Epidendrum calanthum. Upon-a-tree pretty-flower — a singularly useless name to uniquely describe an orchid. The Greek here is simply to give a name to a branch on a taxonomy. Latinity and hellenismos are irrelevant.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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Post by Lucus Eques » Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:02 pm

ThomasGR wrote:Seismicity= σεισμικότητα
Could you tell me more about this -ικότητα suffix?

Btw- mineralogy=metalleiology? This could be replaced.
Metallology might work. I like how it sounds simpler than 'mineralogy'. :)

To what end?
To the ends of the Earth!

Seriously, though, it is a painful existence dealing with these things on a daily basis, and I do tweak and use more proper terms whenever possible — leading by example has a profound effect.

I enjoy that story, Will. Still, although inane, at least that was good Greek.


What do you all think of geohistory? How do the vowels concord between the omega and the aspiration? Should there be more contraction?
L. Amadeus Ranierius

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Post by annis » Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:43 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:leading by example has a profound effect.
This can only end in tears. ;)
What do you all think of geohistory? How do the vowels concord between the omega and the aspiration? Should there be more contraction?
Nope, it's fine.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by Lucus Eques » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:23 pm

So then: γεωἱστοÏ￾ία ?
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Post by IreneY » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:39 pm

Oh c'mon! At least all of these are better than paraskevidekatriaphobia which I just could not believe anyone came up with when I first heard of it. :lol: Good Greek? Perhaps. Awful tongue twister? You bet!

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Post by Lucus Eques » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:43 pm

Here's another pair; I see biogenic next to diagenetic — is one of these endings preferable? Do they bear different shades of meaning?
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