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ARCHIVES Home

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ARCHIVES  April 1995, Week 4

ARCHIVES April 1995, Week 4

Subject:

Re: "To archive" : linguistic barbarism?

From:

[log in to unmask]

Reply-To:

Archives & Archivists <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 24 Apr 1995 11:41:23 BST

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (35 lines)

     On 23 April, Peter Nelson wrote:
 
     >"Sunday morning musings arising from a casual conversation with a
     >colleague earlier this week, in re: the verb "to archive."
 
     >Do you feel as I do that this is now universally accepted jargon in
     >computer science and when referring to electronic records, but a
     >linguistic barbarism when applied in the context of professional
     >archivy?
 
     >"Archivy," btw, is not a term I find in Webster.  Why not?  What is
     >its origin?  And as for the matter of "archive" vs. "archives" ,
     >singular or plural, I think is very much a matter of personal
     >preference and regional/national custom.  But to return to the point:
     >IMHO, archivists *never* "archive."
 
     Cobuild/Collins (UK) publish a dictionary whose definitions are based
     on actual usage of English words. Out of a total of 200 million words
     from a variety of sources there are only 22 citations of 'archive'
     being used as a verb, mostly from 'informal' texts such as magazines
     or spoken word (eg. national public radio). For their latest
     dictionary, which is principally for non-English speakers and has just
     been revised, they decided against including the word 'archiving' as a
     verb. If the term gains popularity and is used more frequently,
     particularly in "serious" publication eg. technical journals then it
     will in time become established as a "true" English word..... this is
     how languages develop!
 
     Eldin.
 
     **********************************************************************
     *Eldin Rammell              Tel:   +44 1304 618840                   *
     *Clinical Records Manager   Fax:   +44 1304 618506                   *
     *Pfizer Central Research    Email: [log in to unmask] *
     **********************************************************************

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