Friday, September 28, 2012


Meaning: information, pieces of information

Usefulness: 2 (it's not very exciting, but we keep using it, so it must be useful.)

Logofascination: 1 (because, and only and wholly and solely because, Sir Thomas has the first citation for this word in the OED. He used it in 1645, forty-six years - yes, forty-six - before the next citation*. See graph below for evidence of how ahead of the curve Sir Thomas was on this one.  Some guy is cited under datum from 1630, in a text called Most Easie Way Finding Sunnes Amplitude, which is clearly an early example of spam.)

In the wild: it shows up in Microsoft error messages; I think that's beyond wild and into feral.

Degrees: 1.

Connections: n/a

Used inTrissotetras:
"The verticall Angles, according to the diversity of the three Cases being by the foresaid Datas thus obtained." 
Note the English pluralisation; there's some discussion around data as a plural, (update: also see here) so I was rather tickled to find Sir Thomas blithely sticking an s on the end, although it should be noted that the OED identifies this usage as a count noun, rather than a mass noun (which is how we generally use it).

It's in a graph so it must be true. 

*This (obviously) doesn't mean no-one else used it, just no-one else important enough for the OED to record. The entry was updated in March 2012, so it's not because no-one's got around to looking at it lately.

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