The ‘Today’ programme on BBC Radio 4 is a rich seam for unusual usages. Yesterday threw up two, of which one could be a new word (unless someone can find a previous example?)
The eminent economist Jim O’Neill, best known perhaps for inventing (or at least popularizing) the acronym BRIC for the rapidly developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, was interviewed by Mishal Husain about his latest role, advising the British government on the subject of antibiotic drug resistance, and he twice talked about ‘incentifying’ innovation in the use of existing drugs. When Mishal came back at him, she used the regular ‘incentivizing’ in the same context. The OED has no entry for ‘incentify’. (Was he creating it by analogy with intensify?)
Later in the same programme, the New Zealand Justice, Lowell Goddard, whom Teresa May has chosen as her third candidate to lead the inquiry into historic child abuse and its alleged covering up by the late Home Secretary Leon Brittan, used the word scope several times as a transitive verb, in the phrase “to scope an inquiry”. This time, the OED does have an entry for scope as a transitive verb, but only tentatively – the entry reads
“trans. ? To calculate the scope or range of. Obs. rare.
1807Â Â J. Barlow Columbiad v. 194Â Â Lincoln..Scoped the whole war and measured well the foes.”
I’m not sure that Justice Goddard intended the same meaning as Barlow, but ‘calculate’ doesn’t quite seem to fit.