Jun. 2nd, 2008

grammargirl: (Wordsex)
Everyone in my department just received the following e-mail from a coworker:

Did you know that the word "um" is in the dictionary? And it's been in print since at least 1672?
 
Which brings up the question, where did it first appear?  Was it in a play? Sounds like a cheap stunt for verse--like something Larry King would do, but John Dryden?--but it's hard to imagine even in blank verse: Restoration drama was not especially notable for its realism, which is more a feature of the modern novel.
And the first novel in the English language is generally considered Robinson Crusoe, which appeared fifty years later.
 
These sorts of obsessions really affect my productivity, so any ideas would be most welcome.

I rest my case.

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grammargirl

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