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I've recently listened to an old hit by the Beach Boys and I was surprised by the lyrics where the word "excitation" is so frequently repeated. Does it really exist, perhaps as a regional term? I couldn't find it anywhere in dictionaries, which obviously list "excitement". Please, don't tell me it was coined to rhyme with "good vibrations"...

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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, jwpat7, Robusto, nohat Apr 10 '12 at 4:15

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
But of course it was! –  phoog Apr 10 '12 at 0:13
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Don't believe @phoog. Which dictionaries did you look in? Excitation has been around since the 14th century according to Merriam Webster –  Jim Apr 10 '12 at 0:20
    
@Jim +1 for actually looking it up. The point is that the word is not often used in modern English, as Paola notes, and it is used in the song because it rhymes with "vibration", despite the fact that it has fallen out of common use. I doubt Mike Love looked the word up. –  phoog Apr 10 '12 at 0:25
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@phoog- I beg to differ on "fallen out of use" It is alive and well in the scientific and engineering fields (if not elsewhere) –  Jim Apr 10 '12 at 0:32
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Thank you all for your comments. I admit that the dictionaries I checked are British (Cambridge, Longman and Oxford), but I had no American English dictionaries handy... I thought I remembered the term from some scientific text in the past, but I was not sure. Now I'm better off. –  Paola Apr 10 '12 at 0:37