Monday, January 12, 2015

Brainstorm vs. Brainstorming


Brainstorm vs Brainstorming
The History of the Words.
The word "brainstorming" did not appear in Webster's Dictionary until the 1954 edition. Previous editions, how far back has not been determined but the 1934 edition for sure, carried the word "brainstorm" but it had a far different meaning than brainstorming as we think of it and as it is defined today.

First used in the late 1800's "brainstorm" originally referred to an extreme mental disturbance. That meaning changed after Alex Osborn, the O in BBD&O the New York advertising agency started using "brainstorming" as a creativity technique. Now the original meaning of brainstorm has been lost, it now means an insight or good idea.

Here's the frequency of use of the two words in the books on Google, which is thought to be a representative sample. (For more about this word frequency technique and to use it on words you are interested in researching, see https://books.google.com/ngrams/info)