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comment Origin of 'the new normal' as a freestanding phrase
Aside from a smattering of instances where "the new normal school" is truncated to "the new normal," the earliest instance in a Google Books search over the years 1800–1923, of "the new normal," where normal is used a noun, is from December 1917. But then a rash of such instances appear in five-year period from 1918–1922, including the one that FumbleFingers points out in a comment above. That record suggests (but does not prove) that "the new normal" with normal as a noun may not have existed in English until the twentieth century—and the cataclysm of World War I.
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asked Origin of 'the new normal' as a freestanding phrase
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awarded  Nice Answer
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awarded  Enlightened
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Dec
14
awarded  Nice Answer
Dec
14
awarded  Good Answer
Dec
13
answered Odd possessive form of a proper name: Why does Dryden write “Lord Nonsuch his” instead of “Lord Nonsuch’s” but “Bibber’s” instead of “Bibber his”?
Dec
13
comment In what context did the noun 'countdown' first emerge, and when did the word first appear in print?
Thanks, Hugo. What do you make of the use of countdown in Questions and Answers in Television Engineering (1950)? There are multiple occurrences of the word, usually in connection with"countdown circuit" and "countdown pulse," but also with "60-cycle countdown" and once in this phrase: "the 60-cycle pulse from the countdown will occur sooner." Is there any connection to areospace adoption of "countdown" here, or is the word choice just a coincidence?
Dec
12
comment Is “nerdiosity” a real word?
I can say with great nerditude that I have never used the term nerdiosity in the past and hope never to do so in the future.
Dec
12
answered Finding the definition of Pineburr
Dec
12
comment What's the etymology of the words “sweater” and “sweatshirt”?
And yet, for many people, the image evoked by the term "sweater girl" is actually quite pleasant.
Dec
12
comment Another word for “kisses” or “slightly touches” or “barely makes contact”
I think "touches" may be the best choice in the situation you describe; if you were talking about one object barely touching another while in motion past it, you might uses "grazes" or "lightly brushes past," but "grazes" doesn't work especially well in describing the point of contact between two stationary objects.
Dec
12
comment Comma use in a list where all the items are new
Different people and different institutions may shift their allegiances with regard to a particular punctuation style, but the leaders of the two schools of thought on the serial (Oxford) comma in the United States—the Chicago Manual of Style (in favor) and the Associated Press Stylebook (opposed)—have been consistent in their mutually contradictory advice for many decades. The U.S. Government Printing Office currently favors AP (no serial comma) and may have favored Chicago before that, though I don't know whether that's the case. As Erik Kowal says, it's a style issue.
Dec
12
comment In what context did the noun 'countdown' first emerge, and when did the word first appear in print?
Unfortunately How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head (one of the titles cited in the excerpt from Kirkus Service in your link) has a copyright date of 1971, so I suspect that Google Books has once again provided the wrong date. Also, the "Our History" page at Kirkus dates the name "Kirkus Service" to 1967. Google Books sometimes drives me crazy.
Dec
11
comment In what context did the noun 'countdown' first emerge, and when did the word first appear in print?
The earliest sports reference I've found through Google Books is in an ad from a 1967 issue of Men's Wear magazine—but it refers to a CBS Network pregame show on the National Football League ("Countdown to Kickoff"). I seriously doubt that CBS's show title is the first instance of the use of countdown in the context of sports, but Google Books has few relevant results from the 1960s and (seemingly) none from the 1950s.
Dec
11
comment In what context did the noun 'countdown' first emerge, and when did the word first appear in print?
And Hathi Trust finds multiple matches for countdown in a 1950 book titled Questions and Answers in Television Engineering. That's a surprise.
Dec
11
comment In what context did the noun 'countdown' first emerge, and when did the word first appear in print?
Interestingly, one of the earliest instances in Google Books results is from IRE Transactions on Broadcast Transmission Systems (1955), in the context of television broadcasting: "Clock with sweep secondhand started at end of identification slate and counting down from 15 seconds before program is to start. 3. At countdown 4, picture is faded to black. 4. At countdown Zero, program starts."
Dec
11
asked In what context did the noun 'countdown' first emerge, and when did the word first appear in print?