Computer Games: Jane Austen Hits a Home Run
Hartston, William, The Independent (London, England)
Who would have thought it? Jane Austen playing baseball! Pardon my irrepressible obtrusiveness, but I've been consulting the Oxford English Dictionary on CD-Rom and it renders all other computer games obsolete. Could Nintendo tell me that Jane Austen was responsible for the first recorded use of the word "baseball" in English? (In Northanger Abbey - it's one of the things Catherine preferred to books.) Would Sonic the Hedgehog have known that Ms Austen gave us irrepressible, obtrusiveness and door-bell?
Finding a complete list of Jane Austen's neologisms is not one of the easiest things to do with the OED. I first had to create a file of all the Austen, Jane citations (all 1,093 of them), then whittle it down to manageable size by asking for words that had made their first appearance during her writing years. Then I looked at them one-by-one. An unmirthful task, but "unmirthful" was among the Austen innovations. "Double-bedded" was too, which brings us to our next topic.
Among the 279 references to Camilla, you will find "Most dulciloquent and incomparable Miss Camilla" from the New Monthly Magazine of 1840, and this curiously apposite quotation from Mudflats of Dead, written by G Mitchell in 1979: "Camilla wasn't the only predator. . . people are always changing their sleeping partners."
What I was really trying to do, however, before I …
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Publication information: Article title: Computer Games: Jane Austen Hits a Home Run. Contributors: Hartston, William - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: November 23, 1995. Page number: 30. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.