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pseudo-neologism
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2014/01/29
10:14am
asusena Armenia
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I came across the term “pseudo-neologism” and cannot understand what it is.

Here is the context I read about it:

 

Neologisms are defined as “newly coined lexical units or existing lexical units that acquire a new sense” (Newmark 1988: 140). He points out the types of neologisms : old words with new senses, new coinages, derived words,  abbreviations, collocations, eponyms, phrasal words transferred words, acronyms and pseudo- neologisms (ibid). These items can pose a great challenge for the translator as they cannot be found in dictionaries. Therefore it is the translator who has to create new words and expressions as equivalences during the translation process.

 

The source is available online at    http://www.iasj.net/iasj?func=fulltext&aId=36994 

I guess it means “false neologisms” or not actually new units. What might they be? This is the problem. 

 

2014/01/29
11:46am
Ron Draney
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Not sure if this is exactly what the author is talking about (mainly because it seems to be covered by other phrases that he also mentions), but consider the words friend and like as used in present-day social media. The words themselves are very old, but are being used in a new sense to describe something that didn’t exist before. Contrast with words like twerk which were made up out of whole cloth.

A term like hashtag is in a kind of middle ground. Hash has long been used to describe the # character, and tag has an established meaning of a mark or label that distinguishes the thing marked from similar-looking things; if there’s a neologism here at all, it lies in the combination of the two.

2014/01/29
12:39pm
Dick
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I’m not sure if I found a complete answer to your question but I found an answer to a question I have had for a while.  When we come across most abbreviations in a sentence we read the complete word. For example etc. = etcetera, hwy. = highway.  There is a different group of abbreviations which, when we come to pronounce them, we say the letters of the abbreviation.  For example CD, PC, ER, or even FBI.  We know what the letters mean but we do not say the words.  I have always looked at these as different types of abbreviations deserving a different name because we make these abbreviations into words of themselves.  I just read a website that calls these “pseudo-neologisms.”  That is probably not as specific a designation as I am looking for because it indicates that there are other pseudo-neologisms, although I could not find specifically what they are.  But this may be a clue to the answer for asusena Armenia’s question.

2014/01/29
1:11pm
Glenn
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I did find an example from Newmark in what I presume is the cited text within the cited text, from the very next page after the citation reference:

However créneau, which started as a metaphor as créneau de vente (therefore it is a ‘pseudo-neologism’) can normally be translated technically as ‘market outlet’ or informally as ‘a range of demand for a particular type of product’, depending on the type of readership, of which I envisage three types: (1) … .
A Textbook of Translation, Newmark, Prentice-Hall International, 1988, p 141

This refers to a situation in which a clipping of an established longer metaphorical phrase would be defined by Newmark as a “pseudo-neologism.” At least that is one example of how he would use the term. There may well have been others. He seems to have in mind that the history of the longer metaphor prevents him from considering it a true neologism. Perhaps any situation in which a longer history comes into play, he would extend the same distinction.

To Dick’s point above, I am familiar with “emcee” — which I am old enough still to consider spelling as M.C. — but I recently was taken aback by the written form “jayvee” which, as a spelled out term — jayvee sports — was totally new to me, though not to Webster’s. Webster jayvee It brings to mind Star Wars, from which lore I recall the spelled out Artoo. I don’t see the point.

[added the following] In more modern English, perhaps cell or mobile might qualify as “pseudo-neologisms” to Newmark, especially cell. I have been known to take advantage of the history of the word to quip as follows:
“Sorry if we get cut off: I calling on my cell phone.”
“I am honored that you used your one phone call to phone me.”

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