Playing in space

An editor frets about matters that might escape the notice of someone not professionally engaged with words. This editor, for example, has thought long and carefully about the obvious overindulgence by modern communicators in neologisms and concluded that something must be done. Neologisms, of course, are new words or new meanings assigned to existing words. And they are not—let it be stipulated now—categorically bad. The language needs its neologisms. New things emerge, and they require new words and phrases. Think of "e-mail" (or "email," if you prefer) or "laptop." At some point in history, "automobile" was a neologism. At their best, neologisms ...

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