First uses

The range of verbs is further cut down by means of the -ize and de- formations, and the banal statements are given an appearance of profundity by means of the not un- formation. — George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language

Apparent first use of certain words employing the “-ize formation” in English-language newspapers, based on a review of online archives. (Does not include variant spellings.) Updated Jan. 2, 2022. 

“‘I think that one want to demonize and other-ize because it makes the world more manageable,’ Kushner says. ‘The whole struggle in American culture now – multiculturalism, difference and inclusion –is really about breaking down those barriers between people, but in a smart sophisticated way.…” [Profile of playwright Tony Kushner, The Los Angeles Times, Oct. 25, 1992]

“By photographing the buildings when not in use, there are no images of people, the emphasis is shifted to the elements of architectural design and the formal composition of the photograph. In essence the image de-contextualizes the building (architectural design). [Ed Bailey-Mershon, “Competent but not really compelling, Southtown Star (Tinley Park, Ill.) Aug. 19, 1979]

“… some liberal minded judge permits a continuance and turns the criminal loose on the street to revictimize the victims.” Interview with Maj. Henry J. Wolff of the Indianapolis Police Department. [The National Road Traveler (Cambridge City, Ind.), May 3, 1972]

“The argument rests on the assumption that the more thoroughly armed a nation is, the more likely it will escape the horrors of war. It is difficult to take such a proposition seriously, for it can only come from bureaucrats and technologists who themselves live in a totally defactualized world. The whole of human experience cries out in protest, for if man’s experience on this earth teaches us anything, it is that more arms always mean more wars.” Stephen E. Ambrose, “Was This Trip Really Necessary?” [The Evening Sun, Baltimore, Md., Nov. 22, 1971]

“Dr. (Emily) Alman startled some 200 homemakers when she suggested that the family of the 70’s may have a completely different structure. “I suggest that the group coming up has started to delegitimize the existing structure. They will not follow our patterns,” said Dr. Alman. [The Courier-News (Bridgewater, N.J.), April 29, 1970]


“And the problem we face now is how to operationalize the concept of Black Power.” Interview with activist H. Rap Brown. [Delaware County Daily Times, Aug. 8, 1967]

“The U.S. Department of Labor has available a new study entitled ‘Manpower Challenge of the 1960’s.’ It definitely is on the list of required reading for employers and educators. Its perusal might incentivize junior sufficiently to bring home better grades.” [The Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont) May 23, 1960] 

“The Honeywell Model 7000 Digital Data Recorder-Transcriber digitizes data at the fantastic rate of 10,000 samples per second directly from transducer or other data input sources.” [Honeywell recruitment ad, Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 8, 1959] “It accepts signals from thermocouples, flow, pressure and other transducers. It measures these signals, digitizes them and prints their values. A thermocouple reference oven can be supplied to permit it to accommodate three types of inputs, which automatically are linearized over their entire range to within 0.1 per cent of accuracy. The foregoing specimen of prose is not a visiting Martian’s first attack on the English language. …” [Joseph Alsop syndicated column in The Post-Crescent (Appleton, Wis.) July 7, 1959]


“The United States went into a serious ballistic missile program only in 1961, with the decision to weaponize the Army’s JPL Corporal rocket and to develop the Redstone.” Associated Press interview with “leading American missile expert” Dr. Wernher von Braun. [Logansport Pharos-Tribune (and other newspapers), Nov. 10, 1957] Recent uses of ‘weaponized.’

“Interesting to marginalize the capers of three candidates for the high and dizzy office of mayor of Manhattan.” [Arthur ‘Bugs’ Baer, “The Mayor Makes the Money Go,” The San Francisco Examiner, Dec. 4, 1950]

“On the other hand, there is no need for hysteria or injustice. The wholesale removal of great masses of men, women and children on mere executive order, without an opportunity to destigmatize themselves, works horrible injustice on the innocent, while it does not, I am sure, stop the professional spy and ‘Fifth Columnist’ who has had ample warning and will therefore find ways to protect himself so that he can go on with his miserable trade.” [George E. Sokolsky, The Deseret News, March 9, 1942]

“It is bad enough for the labor movement when two national leaders lock horns like a pair of bucks fighting for the privilege or being the leading buck, to leave their horns on frozen earth to tokenize the struggle; but it is as bad for the rank and file, when less lights do the same thing.” [Albert Vose, “Two Road – All the Way or None – Which?” The State Democrat (Oklahoma City, Okla.), May 11, 1939]

“Mr. Roosevelt can add another laurel to his brow by doing what may be necessary to decriminalize the nation, as Mussolini quickly rid Italy of those secret bands of thugs that so long ago were the shame of Italy and the terror of its people.” [Glenn Frank, The Ithaca (New York) Journal, Aug. 25, 1933]

“John Farrar, who edited the Bookman until Burton Rascoe took over with the September number, is now conducting in that magazine a department called ‘Anonymously’ under his own name in which he doesn’t anonymize the folk he discusses.”  [W.E. Ellis, “Literary Browsings,” The Montclair Times (Monclair, N.J.), Dec. 14, 1927]

“Every effort is being made to de-institutionalize the orphanage and child-welfare work and to provide homes or self-supporting employment for all the children as rapidly as possible. …” [The Asheville Citizen (Asheville, N.C.) March 28, 1925]

“According to Senator Lodge, the Congress is willing to ‘stand by the President’ in every move for the prosecution of the war, but is not prepared to deconstitutionalize the domestic administration of affairs to meet the unrestrained urgings of the President’s less thoughtful supporters.” [The Sun (New York, New York) June 16, 1917]

“But this gospel I preach means more than bringing to men a new human ideal; for Jesus, the first-born of all creation, the first born from the dead, the head over his body the church is more than an ideal; or in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. We conceptualize his earthly ministry in our minds, and surround his face with a halo of glory; and the charm of his countenance appeals to us to be like that ideal.” [“Sermon by Dr. (A.J.) Dickinson opens 83rd commencement,” The Tuscaloosa News, June 1, 1914]

“I believe that the struggle toward this ideal is itself an education for woman. In a sense it publicizes woman gradually.” [Indianapolis News, March 26, 1901]

“In this regard most of the smaller German States can make mock of all England. We talk and squabble and politicize about education as a vote-catching agency, while we are neglecting all the weightier matters of the law.” [The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Dec. 3, 1892]

“Notwithstanding that our Lord expressly declares that only by such a union that the world can be conquered – by a union in the unity – yet we clergymen are trying to optimize our divisions and read Christ’s declarations in some unnatural way.”   Letter to the editor from “A lover of unity” [The Chicago Daily Tribune, Oct. 30, 1875]

“There are other methods by which we can localize and privatize our public schools, to which we will hereafter call attention.” [The Tennessean (Nashville, Tenn.) Dec. 11, 1872]

“These attempts to normalize despotism display the impotency as well as the malignity of the Executive, for, of course, neither one measure nor the other will ever become law.” [New York Times, Jan. 24, 1864]

“But that I was a woman, standing alone and unsupported – that I was unheralded and almost unknown – did not prevent your giving me an impartial hearing. You did not attempt to sexualize mental gifts, to say the lips of man should interpret the poets, but the lips of woman must be sealed.” [“Mrs. Mowatt’s Farewell to the Stage,” The Rowan Whig and Western Advocate, June 23, 1854]

“… the leading characteristic of your modern Whig, is precisely his readiness to Radicalize on every occasion when it is worth his while.” [The Times (of London), Nov. 15, 1840]

“We think not: for observe how close the parallel is between Parson Adams and Parson Rowlatt as victims, and “the gentleman” and Lord Brougham as “victimizers.” [The Times (of London), Dec. 15, 1835]

“At a loss to conceive by what extra authority he had made so a declaration, the men of science of Europe who were not acquainted with his secret, regarded his ‘postponement,’ as it was termed, with incredulous contumely; and continued to terrorize upon the threat of earlier predictions.” Excerpt from “Great Astronomical Discoveries,” the moon hoax published by the New York Sun, written by Richard Adams Locke. [Poughkeepsie Journal, Sept. 2, 1835]

nyt 1834

“I take the liberty of handing you the subjoined extract from a communication to the Times, a democratic paper published in New York, and which advocated the measures of President Jackson. As the experiment in America is now subject to severe trial, it might possible be as well to pause awhile before we Americanize our House of Lords. — ANGLICUS. Liverpool, July 22nd, 1834.” [Liverpool Mercury, Sept. 19, 1834]

“Free and independent for 40 years, Hayti only saw in that ordinance the application with respect to her of a formality to legitimize, in the eyes of other nations, the government of a people who had constituted themselves sovereign.” [The Evening Post (New York), March 30, 1826]

“From a careful perusal of them we are able to trace the out lines of a powerful confederacy forming to check the progress of ambitious career, which threatens Europe with a deluge of rapine, anarchy and immorality; — which, at the same time it assails all government, and systems of laws, lay prostrate the altars dedicated to God — banishes every appearance of Piety; and by hellish incantation, demoralizes Man; — thereby rendering him a fit instrument of assassination, and a powerful engine for the entire destruction of the country which gave him birth.” [Excerpt, “Letter from Europe” by “a gentleman who arrived in this town from France on Sunday last,” Boston, Aug. 1, The Gleaner (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) Aug 14, 1798]

“In the career of conquest, the French have no attempt to revolutionize Italy; and yet we find that our Ministers persevere in their scheme of exciting civil war in the interior of France. What shall we say of this conduct. Is Jacobinism transferred from the Rue St. Honore to Downing street? …” [Except from The Northern Star (Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland) May 30, 1796]

“The Committee therefore proposes to you to generalize that decree, so as to extend it to every national property whatever.” [“France. National Convention.” The Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, Scotland) June 20, 1793]

“A few weeks ago I was within an Ace of 1,000,000 or 1,100,000 Pieces of Eight: The English of this is, his Excellency the Governor of Jamaica (whose Goodness to me has been exceeding) some Months ago forming a Design to erect a Government upon the Continent of Gratis de Dios, and thereby to humanize and unite a good many Indian Nations, pitch’d upon me to execute it, and gave me a Commission to command the whole Musquetto Shore …” Account by Robert Hodgson about the Mosquito Coast or Miskito Coast of present-day Nicaragua and Honduras. (spelled here at as Robert Hodshon and Musquetto Shore) [from Benjamin Franklin’s The Pennsylvania Gazette, June 25, 1741]

(Originally published Jan. 1. 2017, and updated.)