Sunday, March 27, 2011

Positivity

This is the kind of thing I love. Writing at Throw Grammar From the Train, Jan Freeman remarks on the OED's recent additions of such things people, you know, actually say as LOL and OMG. She quotes Charles Walsh as accusing Chris Brown of "inventing the word positivity, which no doubt will be included in the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary." As she says,
Well, you all know what comes next. The OED’s first cite for positivity (“The quality, character, or fact of being positive (in various senses); positiveness”) dates to 1659. Here’s Isaac Watts in 1741: “Courage and Positivity are never more necessary than on such an Occasion.” And Fraser’s Magazine in 1842: “The most positive man I ever met with … There is positivity in his dark face, large eyebrows, stern features.” And so on, till the present day. But who wants 350 years' worth of facts when there's a good rant just begging to be ranted?

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