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I came across the word, ‘scooplet’ in a statement by a New York Times reporter in the "What we are reading" section (October 24). In it, Carolyn Ryan introduces Time Machine written by Kitty Kelley with this preamble:

The story setting off buzz in political circles right now is not a recent scooplet or Trump-driven feud. It is a newly unearthed 1974 profile of Joe Biden. The story is startlingly (and almost too) candid about Mr. Biden’s personal life after losing his wife and daughter in a car accident in 1972.

From the suffix, “let,” I can easily assume ‘scooplet’ means a small scoop, but I don’t find the word in English dictionaries at hand, nor in Oxford Dictionaries and Cambridge Online Dictionaries. GoogleNgram doesn't show this word.

Only www.wordnik answers “Sorry, no definition found,” instead showing an example:

There's been a mad dash to break these Marianne Gingrich scooplets, and the Washington Post has their own interview with Marianne Gingrich on the matter of this "open marriage.

Is "scooplet” a new or relatively recent word?

Though I understand "scoop" is basically a journalism-related term, can I use "scooplet” in a personal topic in such a way as "Tom, I have a scooplet about Betty’s new boyfriend” or “I got a scooplet that my boss received money under the table from subcontractors”?

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    It is, in essence, a nonce word, combining "scoop" (apparently in the journalistic sense) with the suffix "-let", to indicate a small instance of a scoop. – Hot Licks Oct 5 '15 at 1:43
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    What @HotLicks said. You can form a diminutive of any noun by adding suffix *let*. But your question is whether scooplet is common/popular. Not very, IMO, but what measure to use? – Drew Oct 5 '15 at 5:32
  • @Drew The only currently reliable measure to use is frequency in a corpus. It does not appear in Google NGrams or COCA. Another meaningful but problematic measure in such instances is introspection. – Mitch Oct 5 '15 at 12:48
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Googling "a scooplet" gets 1,030 results, including a 2013 book about Rupert Murdoch's empire, an article in The Atlantic:

By contrast, a scooplet yesterday in the Desert News, from Utah, makes much more sense.

breitbart.com

It was a place where you could get a scooplet or a quick hit on the website in an hour, and lots of people liked working for a publication like that...

The Washington Post

The reason this comes up--besides a slow news day--is a scooplet by the Politico's Roger Simon.)

and other well-known sources, so, although it's not the most common word out there, it seems to be spread about.

...can I use ‘scooplet” in a personal topic in such a way as ‘Tom. I have a scooplet about Betty’s new boyfriend.'

It does seem to be used mostly about news, as in journalism. I did find it in an article about food, however:

Sure, there's a classic tirami su. But there is also a crisp version, layered with fragile sheets of pastry, nuzzled by a transparent fan of caramelized sugar, a fillip of whipped cream, a scooplet of fabulous ice cream and a crosshatching of caramel sauce.

However, if you would use the word scoop, I don't see any reason you can't use scooplet. (It's kind of cute, I think, and would be easily understood.)

In the ice cream usage, I think I would prefer a scoop, thanks.

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It's a very recent neologism. It is not in any online dictionaries (or the unix word list).

'-let' is an relatively uncommon productive suffix meaning 'little'. Of the words ending in '-let', only 'piglet' seems to be common enough using it as a diminutive suffix.

'scooplet' is a clever use of the suffix. It looks fine in print, but in speaking it would sound really weird.

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    "a relatively uncommon productive suffix meaning 'little' - not very uncommon. Applet (in computing), bomblet, booklet, eyelet, froglet, islet, leaflet, moonlet, playlet, starlet, streamlet, winglet, etc... – alephzero Oct 5 '15 at 2:30
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    What @alephzero said. It's not uncommon at all, IMO. But then, how are we measuring commonness? – Drew Oct 5 '15 at 5:34
  • @alephzero booklet, islet, starlet are reasonably common words (probably moreso than my example of piglet). But '-let' is relatively much less common as a suffix than '-ship' or '-ment'. – Mitch Oct 5 '15 at 12:55
  • @Drew 'relatively' is a convenient waffle word on my part. For objective measurement, one can use word lists (like for spell checking). I've been using /usr/dict/words. '-ment' has 1490 instances, '-let' has 521 (but one might also want to take into account the frequency of each of those words. My feeling is that the 'let' words are much less commonly used. – Mitch Oct 5 '15 at 12:57

protected by tchrist Feb 5 '17 at 0:09

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