Sunday, 16 May 2021


Via the always engaging Language Hat, we were referred to a tough but fun and informative quiz from Oxford University Press on word coinage—a few subsequent questions we knew (more spoilers—our readers will do so well on this, like for gerrymandering and O.M.G.)—but were rather taken aback a bit right off the bad for learning the rather recent and facetious etymology of scientist, suggested by a Cambridge professor for the inaugural meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1833. Noting the parallel construction for artist, atheist, sophist and sciolist (the latter two foils ‘skilled’ at making the weaker argument the stronger and pretending to be knowledgeable and informed), the suggestion was not intended to be taken seriously. Much more at the links above and let us know how you scored.