semantogenic
Posted: 19 March 2012 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I just discovered this very odd word, whose meaning I would not have guessed: arising from impairment in the use of language.  It appears to have been coined by Wendell Johnson in Language and Speech Hygiene: An Application of General Semantics (1939): “suggest a new term in this connection, ‘semantogenic’ ...” Anybody familiar with it?  Has the online OED gotten up to S yet?

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Posted: 19 March 2012 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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No sign of it in OED but Merriam-Webster has an entry, defining the word as “arising from impairment in the use of language”. It’s the first time it’s sailed across my horizon.

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Posted: 19 March 2012 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Merriam-Webster has an entry, defining the word as “arising from impairment in the use of language”

What an odd coincidence, that’s the same definition and source I have in my post!

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Posted: 19 March 2012 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Ha! That’ll teach me not to skip links.

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Posted: 19 March 2012 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I don’t like this word. Given that the word was coined by one person for a particular purpose, it seems a terrible choice. I know etymology isn’t meaning and blah blah blah but when you are making up words there’s no value in deliberately screwing things up for others: this word looks for all the world like it would mean “arising from meaning” or “arising from signs”.
But, it doesn’t seem to have taken off anyway so no harm done.

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Posted: 19 March 2012 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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"General Semantics” in the book title probably does not mean simply semantics which is general: the Wikipedia page (e.g.) explains Korzybski’s “general semantics”, which is a particular philosophy or theory which apparently has produced some specialized terms of its own. I deny any expertise.

[ Edited: 19 March 2012 05:37 PM by D Wilson ]
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Posted: 19 March 2012 11:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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OP Tipping - 19 March 2012 04:10 PM

I...this word looks for all the world like it would mean “arising from meaning” or “arising from signs”.

Agree fully with the point of the post, but for me semantogenic would be “creating meaning” or “creating signs”.

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Posted: 20 March 2012 04:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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frma, that’s reasonable, but note the example of “anthropogenic”.

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Posted: 20 March 2012 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’ve heard proposals to sort out -genic and -gonic in scientific usages to distinguish “arising from” from “produced by” [edit: that should be “producing"] but nothing has ever come of it, and -genic in particular remains ambiguous.  “Producing meaning” was my first take on “semantogenic” as well.

[ Edited: 22 March 2012 09:42 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 20 March 2012 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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And mine as well.

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Posted: 22 March 2012 01:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Fair enough, it is probably the more common of the two. I’ve just been using the word “anthropogenic” in scientific contexts lately so perhaps it was on the tip of my brain.

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