1. An act, trait, or custom characterized by ignorance or crudity.
a. The use of words, forms, or expressions considered incorrect or unacceptable.
b. A specific word, form, or expression so used.
[Latin barbarismus, use of a foreign tongue or of one's own tongue amiss, barbarism, from Greek barbarismos, from barbarizein, to behave or speak like a barbarian, from barbaros, non-Greek, foreign (imitative of the sound of unintelligible speech).]
USAGE NOTE There is a significant difference in meaning between barbarism and barbarity. Both denote some absence of civilization, but the word civilization itself has several different senses, one the opposite of barbarism, the other the opposite of barbarity. On the one hand civilization may refer to the scientific, artistic, and cultural attainments of advanced societies, and it is this sense that figures in the meaning of barbarism. The English word barbarism originally referred to incorrect use of language, but it is now used more generally to refer to ignorance or crudity in matters of taste, including verbal expression: The New Yorker would never tolerate such barbarisms. On the other hand, civilization may refer to the basic social order that allows people to resolve their differences peaceably, and it is this sense—that is, civilization as opposed to savagery—that figures in the meaning of barbarity, which refers to savage brutality or cruelty in actions, as in The accounts of the emperor's barbarity shocked the world. (Gurunet)
That's a good article, grapho. I think most people can "read" the following about as well as I can:
ÉTYMOLOGIE / Philology
1735; composé de:
Néo-: du grec *ós, «neuf»; se rattache à la racine ne/oW-, «neuf» (dans le sens de «inédit»); de l'adjectif grec rérivent un certain nombre de mots fr. en néo-, comportant ce thème signifiant «nouveauté»; cf. lat. nouus, hittite newas, sanscrit náva*h, avest. nava; angl. new, all. neue; la forme adverbiale * «maintenant» (au sens de «d'une façon inédite» a des correspondants en latin (nunc), en all. (nun), en angl. (now), etc.
-logisme: composé sur le grec * «parole». V. article LOGOS.
Modifié le 3 mars 2003 PR I think all. = Allemagne, = Germany, or German.
I note that the article first points out the decrying of neologisms in literature:
Critics of the time conceived of neologism in literature as analogous to the continuous creation and introduction of new lexical units into language, and they thought of language change in general as a process of decay. Thus neologism was condemned on both aesthetic and linguistic grounds and the term was used pejoratively only. This older meaning of neologism, and the attitude it reflects, is still alive today; witness the crusade of Etiemble against () Franglais.
The old meaning of neologism is synonymous with «barbarism,» «gallicism» (in English), «anglicism» (in French), and even «archaism». It is opposed to «purism». I guess that last sentence leaves no doubt!