A Lexicon of Neologisms.  Mikhail Epstein (Emory University)




bject  n (common part of subject  and object, from Lat sub, under, and ob, against + Lat icere, combining form of jacere, to throw) - one that is both a subject and object, in an undetermined position, or superposition, of being the acting and acted upon.


When we say that "the sea is seething" or "the wind becomes stronger," we refer to  bjects that escape  the division into subjects or objects of action (such as "to seethe" or "to become stronger").  A "bject" is a more fundamental category than "subject" or "object."


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nove  n  (from Lat novus, new; pronounced (nouv), like in cove)  - a unit of newness or novelty, something new, unexpected, unusual, challenging all expectations.


A bit is a unit of information obtained by learning which of two equally likely events occurred. A nove is a unit of creativity obtained by finding which of many equally improbable ideas is most provable and palpable. 


How many noves have you identified in this proposal?



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reity n (Lat res, matter or thing) –  all that is real in opposition to the virtual.


Reity is a more narrow realm than the one called "reality."  Virtual worlds are parts of reality, which embraces emotions, numbers, computer games, abstract concepts etc. Reity is what we find around us when we turn off our computers:  the aroma of coffee, the sound of a living voice, a view from the window…


The switch  to reity  from a video or a computer is a gratifying experience.  You sense afresh the charm of things as they smell and taste and touch you. 



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scientify    v trans (science + suffix -ify, from Lat -ficare and -facere, to make or do) - to make smth more scientific, to subject to scientific views, rules and concepts.


He has tried hard to scientify his paper, but it still remains a provocative essay rather than a consistent argument.


She has attempted to scientify her diet and as a result lost her appetite.



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sophiophilia  (Gr sophia, wisdom + philia, love; cf. philosophy) – love for wisdom that  cannot be reduced to any academic discipline or discourse, like philosophy.


In the last two millenia philosophy has differently posited itself as a rational theology, as a universal science, as ideology, as  a method for analyzing language, but seldom as sophiophilia, love for wisdom in its proper sense. 


sophiophil – a person who loves wisdom in a non-philosophical way. 


Philosophy has strayed so far from wisdom, that love for wisdom needs a different name.  Somebody may be a sophiophil without taking any interest in philosophy as it is understood and practiced  in today's academia.



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theorify v trans ( theory + suffix ify) – to make something an object of theory, to submit something non-theoretical to theoretical approach


Theorize  means to apply theory to smth, to think theoretically.

Theorify means to give smth the quality of a theoretical object.


Before we start theorising on X, we have to decide if we can legitimately theorify this X.  For example, can we theorify ethics? Emotions? Personal acts? Personalities?


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white holes - blank spaces in culture, in distinction from  black holes in the cosmos; those gaps among signs and symbols that manifest a need for new words and concepts.


White holes, as defined in contemporary physics,  throw out matter and energy. Just as black holes swallow things irretrievably, so also do white holes spit them out. From the viewpoint of physics, white holes cannot exist, since they violate the second law of thermodynamics. However white holes do exist in culture, in the noosphere and semiosphere, where the physical laws of thermodynamics, the irreversibility of time and increasing entropy are not  effective. One of the goals of the humanities is to extract energy from these semantic voids and to fill them with new signs and ideas.                 



                           PreDictionary. A Lexicon of Neologisms