"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Sunday, 17 May 2009


I noticed that Google blogger was due to be subject to an outage the other day. The word's meaning is obvious - an interruption in service; a temporary suspension of operation (as of computers); the interval during which a scheduled service or resource is not available. What I began to wonder was how long have we actually been using the word outage. Not very long, I suspect. In the past it might have been referred to as a blackout, in respect of electricity, for example. Anyone who knows when outage came into the language is more than welcome to comment.

1 comment:

  1. One cannot have too many words. I came in through another blog and got hooked on words.