Monday, October 26, 2009

Word Formation - An Ill-Formed Word in Newsweek

There is an article in the October 26th issue of Newsweek about a tablet computer that is supposedly in the works at Apple. The article titled "The Hype is Right" contains a hyphenated compound word that I have to believe was created by the article's writer, Daniel Lyons, because a google search returns no results. While I am all for using affixes and compounding to form new words, the newly formed word as it appears in the sentence below (excerpted from the article) makes little sense semantically.

"Just as with the company's iPhone a few years ago, blogs have been buzzing about the still-unveiled iTablet for months, featuring pictures of what the iTablet might look like, arguments over the features that the iTablet will have, leaks from partners that Apple has supposedly approached to develop content for the iTablet—you get the idea."

My guess is that the writer was attempting to put a new twist on the phrase "yet to be unveiled" based on the following adverbial definition of the word "yet" found on merriam-webster.com and the fact that "yet" and "still" are synonyms.

yet 2 a (1) : up to now : so far hasn't —often used to imply the negative of a following infinitive.

However, without the infinitive "to be", it is not semantically clear that the verb "unveiled" should be interpreted in the negative in the compound "still-unveiled".

Confusing if you ask me. What do you think?

6 comments:

Lorelei said...

I agree. "Still-unveiled" doesn't pack the same punch, and it is confusing.

The pale observer said...

I actually think it is ok. Does this mean my literary standards have slipped? :)

Wordacious said...

The pale observer - I don't think your standards have slipped, we just view this differently. I was hoping I would hear from some people who are okay with the word. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This neologism is eerily reminiscent of "stillbirth".

iPhone Users said...

Lorelei said...

I agree. "Still-unveiled" doesn't pack the same punch, and it is confusing.


My opinion same like you.
still-unveiled? no sense >.<

Cheers,
iPhone Users

Anonymous said...

Don't stop posting such articles. I like to read stories like that. BTW add more pics :)
AngreeDealer

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