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Kevin Mac Donnell <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 17 Mar 2011 11:48:47 -0500
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To be precise and avoid a shindy, the 4,342 number I cited is the largest number of words that Twain might have invented --certainly, some of these could have been words he picked up in conversation and merely put into print for the first time, or words overlooked or ignored by Webster, OED, etc.  The number of words that Twain may very likely invented is 2,716. They have no previously known sources, although even some of these may have originated elsewhere, as yet undiscovered. Ramsay & Emberson's lengthy preface goes into more detail...

Of course, a revised edition of their work, including Twain's more recently published writings would enlarge these numbers --but by how much?  

This cries out for further research and it ain't a'gonna be me. I'm too overthwart and endlong with other projects to go off blimblammin about something else.

Mac Donnell Rare Books
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