• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


Need help with BA paper
#1
Hi :) I'm a student from Poland and I'm writing my BA paper about English neologisms in the field of chemistry. I was wondering if someone could help me by giving some new chemical terminology since 2004. I would be glad if you help me :)
Reply
#2
Hmm, finding actual neologisms may be something of a challenge; most of the terminology relevant to RCs is not new to the English language, but has been pulled out of obscurity by the popularisation of a given substance.

Take, for instance, the classes of chemicals that we might play with: tryptamines, phenethylamines, synthetic cannabinoids... the only neologism there is the collocation of "synthetic cannabinoids", although even that probably pre-dates 2004. Within the bounds of the field of chemistry you're quite limited; obviously a number of drug acronyms and slang names have passed into the English language over the years, but mere description does not a thesis make. 

One might be able to find neologisms of usage; the use of the term "pellet" for what is a "tablet" that dare not be so called because the latter term pertains to the lexical set of medicine, implying that a "tablet" is for ingestion whereas a "pellet" is neutral. We have terms that arise from regulation; in turn, "to TCDO something" can as much be a verb as "to Google something". However, none of this is directly related to the lexis of chemistry per se.

You'd probably need to look into newly developed chemical processes (not my area of expertise) in order to find anything that defies description in the very same English used by chemists of 20 or 50 years ago, resulting in the natural contrivance of new words or the adoption of foreign ones, as the case may be. You could maybe look at some of the kits made available for chemical drug testing, though again most of the reagents long pre-date 2004. 

Outside the world of RCs, we've developed an awareness of carbon and the emission of it that we didn't used to have, along with a range of "environmentally friendly" processes (not all of them chemical, mind). You might be able to find some rich pickings there, perhaps in descriptions of pollution and how to treat it. Or look at what's changed in, say, the oil industry, which has all sorts of new fangled chemical processes for improving oil production. There must be some new terminology there. As far as RCs are concerned, I'm not immediately sure I see a lot of useful material.

What did you have in mind in setting out your thesis? Are you writing for a languages degree? Why does this area of chemistry appeal, in terms of possible neologisms?  
Reply
#3
I'm studying English Philology, so I wanted to write my ba paper about neoclassical compounds, word-fortmation processes, affixation, etc. I figured out the subject : 'English neologisms in the field of chemistry. A Study of Word-Formation Processes in New English Chemical Terminology'. But, eventually it's hard to get the neologisms, if I'm not a specialist in this field. Anyway, I think it's too late to change my subject, so I will try work on that. And thank U for your help and tips! I appreciate it.
Reply
#4
Thinking about it, with your title at hand, I (respectfully) think that your scope is too narrow to achieve a useful thesis. New chemical compounds are named in more or less the same way they always have been; new words in chemistry are formed in the same way as in any other area of the English language. I think you are going to struggle to find a good selection of examples to illustrate a thesis or dissertation, though I invite any practising chemists to disagree with me.

I can't tell you whether it's too late to change your subject, but allow me to offer you a suggestion that would give you plenty more to work with. How about neologisms in the era of the World Wide Web, or even neologisms in daily life and sociolinguistic change in the aftermath of the communications age.

Off the top of my head, there was an article a few years back about the term "mouse potato" making it into the Oxford English Dictionary. A derivation of "couch potato", but referring to use of a computer. There may be other such. Then there's the obvious brandings: to Google has become almost as common as to Hoover, probably more so if my house is anything to go by! And we talk about "bandwidth" in situations that have nothing to do with RF waves, your enquiry is approaching the limits of my cognitive bandwidth. Laser, an acronym, is now in the mouths of children because the plastic, light-up sword you buy a kid at a fireworks party has a laser on the end. 

I don't know... I'm a long way out of my depth here, even with a good understanding of linguistics, and I don't know just how far you have got, but I think the field of chemistry is too narrow unless you are already an expert in it with a very good understanding of language change. If you want to study English neologisms over the last decade, you'll probably have to do so in context of major social changes over the last decade, which might include sociopolitical issues (welfare, immigration, the strivers/skivers debate, Government-speak), environmental issues (global warming, peak oil, renewable energy, pollution), technological issues (market penetration of smartphones, switchover to digital TV, streaming audio/video services, the Internet itself). Any of those should give you enough material to work with, although you want a better hypothesis than "language change is a fact of life".  

Word formation processes haven't changed (if you can argue otherwise, I'm all ears). What has changed is the mass penetration of media, the blogosphere, the situation where everyone's a publisher, the change in the meaning of the word "forum", the degree of documentation of language change, the dissemination of information. I have never heard or used the term "mouse potato" outside of my amusement that it made it into the Oxford English Dictionary, but I'm responding to you on a "forum" that is not what my grandfather would have understood from the word.

Anyway, enough. Not looking to distract you from your thesis, but unless you have access to a lot of chemists with an interest in linguistics, I believe your field is too narrow to yield a compelling thesis. I would broaden your base slightly, perhaps as suggested above or in similar fashion. 
Reply
#5
Those topics as neologisms in daily life and similar were already written at my uni, so I should write about sth else. I've done some research about my subject with my friend who is chemical engineer. I have some words such as nanoprism, scattering, spin, coating, nanostar, doctor blade and few more. I' ve chacked it in a distiornary from 2003 and there weren't these words, so I can take them as a neologisms. This paper should be about 30 pages and the first part would be theoretical, but in the second part I should analyse these words, so I need much more.
Reply
#6
I recently saw cannabinomimetic used if that's at all relevant. I might be English but you are using words beyond my comprehension.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cannabinomimetichttp://

I didn't see it there originally but I don't remember where I originally saw it. Google does bring up a few results.
"To fall in hell or soar angelic you need a pinch of psychedelic".
Humphry Osmond to Aldous Huxley (in a book)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxGqcCeV3qk
Reply
#7
Thank U. I'll check out this word :)
Reply
#8
No problem. Sorry I couldn't point you to the original source I saw it at.
"To fall in hell or soar angelic you need a pinch of psychedelic".
Humphry Osmond to Aldous Huxley (in a book)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxGqcCeV3qk
Reply
#9
I was wondering if maybe you know some new names for the chemical equipment or sth like that or maybe new abbreviations or shortenings like EXAFS ( I think it's new but I'm not sure). It also could help me because I need 10 more words which are new ( since 2004 or a little bit earlier ). I would appreciate any help :)
Reply
#10
As said above.... you'd need to know more about chemistry or chemical processes than I do. However, from the Oxford Dictionaries collection, there is a specific Dictionary of Chemistry, in its sixth edition, which promises "over 4,700 entries" and "200 new terms for this edition".

Rather than looking for a copy of the physical book, last published in 2008, if you have an Athens login from your university then you can use or search Oxford Reference online (including the full OED as well as this dictionary of chemistry), which might be helpful both in identifying candidate words and in sourcing reliable information on their etymology. Absent anything more inspired, that ought to yield a few examples.
Reply

Reddit   Facebook   Twitter  




Users browsing this thread:
1 Guest(s)

   
DISCLAIMER
Any views or opinions posted by members are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the UKCR staff team.