An invite

Caught in the New Scientist of 20 June, p. 35:

Joe’s status as an AIDS dissident won him an invite [to Peter Duesberg’s laboratory].

The nouning invite struck me as very colloquial in this context, and I wondered if it was a recent innovation. Far from it!

Not only is it very frequent these days, it’s been around for about 350 years. OED2 marks it as colloquial, with cites from 1659 through 1970. The first two:

1659 H. L’ESTRANGE Alliance Div. Off. 326 Bishop Cranmer..gives him an earnest invite to England.

1778 F. BURNEY Diary (1842) I. 105 Everybody bowed and accepted the invite but me..for I have no intention of snapping at invites from the eminent.

The etymological note shows it as from the verb invite and compares it to command, request, etc. — also nounings of long standing, but in no way colloquial.

One Response to “An invite”

  1. Don Campbell Says:

    I think that invite seems colloquial but command and request do not because in polite registers invitation is used, so rather than a nouning of the verb it seems like an abbreviation of the longer equivalent noun.

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