Thursday, October 29, 2009

The history of cinema, according to--the thesaurus?

“Cinema”--in the sense of the venue for film screenings --is first attested in 1913, five years after “picture palace”. “Movie house” can be spotted the following year, “nickelodeon” in 1921. “Ticket-chopper” first makes an appearance in 1915, “usherette” in 1925, and “drive-in” in 1950--two years later than “ozoner”, an American slang term for the drive-in cinema.

We find that “cinema” was used of a film show in 1909, seven years after the first sighting of “cinematograph”. “Sneak preview” was in use as a noun as early as 1938, and as a verb from 1950. “Film festival” does not put in an appearance until 1951, the year that Alfred Hitchcock's “Rebecca” opened the first Berlin International Film Festival...

The work enables microscopic study of almost all our recorded vocabulary. We see words not in isolation, but through their relationships... It is a hugely effective tool for researching not just the histories of words, but also intellectual and social history.

-- Henry Hitchings in the UK Telegraph, celebrating the publication of the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, a landmark two-volume work 40 years in the making

PLUS: The top 20 of the American Film Institute's Top 100 Movie Quotes--



1 comment:

Yj said...

love means never having to say you're sorry...

number 1 sakin yan... hehehehhehe

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