Monday, July 16, 2012


Bob Hagerman from Glen Arbor, Michigan, wrote:   “With all the festivals this time of year, almost each of which requires a queen, perhaps you would be interested in saying a word (or  25) about "to coronate" used as a synonym for "to crown."  (As always, I also object to the use of  "to surveil" as a synonym for the verb “to watch" )

            Coronate is designated rare by the Oxford English Dictionary. The last printed example in the OED dates back to 1847. Surveil, by the way, is a back formation of surveillance, and it seems to have been most popular in the1960s and the 1970s.

            Running counter to this is the fact that entering “coronate” in google results in 313,000 hits, and entering “surveil” brings up 296,000 results. Disappointing, no?

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition
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