Semester project
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Overview Scenario 1

Scenario 2

Scenario 3

Resources Deadlines

neologism (ne·ol·o·gism)

[< NEOLOGY n. + -ISM, after French néologisme (1734 denoting a new word or phrase, 1787 denoting the process of coining new words or phrases, 1900 in psychiatry). Cf. Italian neologismo new word or phrase (1785), German Neologismus (mid 18th cent. in sense ‘new linguistic formation’). Cf. earlier NEOLOGIST n.]

1. a. A word or phrase which is new to the language; one which is newly coined.

— Oxford English Dictionary


As an ongoing project this semester, you will attempt to coin an English neologism derived from Greek and Latin.  These webpages outline tasks and deadlines for the project, and offer guidelines for success.

You will choose one out of the three scenarios provided, all of which ask you to label different phenomena.  You will flesh out your scenario, and so doing will discover the Greek or Latin building blocks (roots) needed to create your neologism.

  • Scenario 1: Label the effects of a terrorist bioweapon on the human body.

  • Scenario 2: Label a heretofore unknown literary device.

  • Scenario 3: Label a new American sociological behavior.

Follow the instructions for your chosen scenario closely.  Although all three are similar in spirit, each has its own challenges and requirements.  The project is to be completed in stages, so please make note of due dates;  do not expect to complete the project in a single sitting.

Note the following requirements and guidelines:

  • Your neologism should be composed entirely of Greek and Latin elements (prefixes, roots, and suffixes):  no other languages, please.

  • Your neologism, as the word implies, must be new;  that is, it should not exist in the English language, nor should it resemble other words too closely.  Check to be sure.

  • Your neologism should obey the rules of formation articulated in ÆON;  you should avail yourself of connecting vowels and consonants, for example.

  • Although your neologism will be a coinage, it should still look and sound like a real word; do not simply stitch together Greek and Latin elements aimlessly into a linguistic Frankenstein's monster.

Please email Professor Curley with questions or comments.

  Scenario 1  
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