A year ago I had a post about the OED’s hunt for the earliest citations of words used in science fiction. Now there’s a snazzy new site for it, whose proprietor, Jesse Sheidlower, says:

For those interested: the Oxford English Dictionary Science Fiction project… has been redesigned and relaunched.
The biggest change is that the OED’s database of citations of SF words is now made (mostly) available via the website. The OED does not usually make its work available in this way, but OED has agreed to publicly open up this part of its database to acknowledge the great contribution volunteers have made to this project.
That means that if you contribute a cite, it’s viewable by everyone. Here’s a link with more information about the citations…
We are also adding quite a few new words: there is an internal list of pending words we have been maintaining and over the next few weeks many of those words will be moved to the main pages. This link… takes you to a list of the most recent additions.

I’m surprised that the earliest cite for “hard science fiction” is 1957 (P. Schuyler Miller in the February Astounding Science Fiction), and if I had access to my early-’50s copies of Astounding, Galaxy, and Fantasy and Science Fiction I’d be tempted to pore through the editorials and book reviews looking for antedates.

Links and Sheidlower quote courtesy of Mark Liberman at Language Log.

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