4

I've noticed the occasional use* of the word rapididez in place of rapidez. The word doesn't appear in any dictionary I have searched.

Is it/was it ever a Spanish word?

Or is it simply a calque from e.g. Englsih rapidity or Catalan rapiditat;
or a neologism made by analogy to e.g. rotundidez (< rotundidad < rotundo)?


* I first saw it used in this comment, and then googling it produced a few hundred results:
  • "rapididez" (157 hits)
  • "rápididez" (117 hits)
which made me suspect there may be some common reason this error was made.

  • 1
    It looks like a mistake by the writer, uncorrected by the editor, or else a misprint. How many other instances of this have you spotted? – pablodf76 Sep 3 '18 at 1:06
  • definitely a typo. Notice that your first link to the google search returns 157 hits but on the top of the results you can see "Did you mean rapidez?" and then google shows results for the correct word and NOT for what you were searching for. – DGaleano Sep 3 '18 at 16:12
  • 1
    @DGaleano thanks, but I'm aware it's not a recognised word and as such would be 'corrected' by Google's suggestion service. I'm interested in why this specific 'misspelling' was repeatedly made by a minority of people, i.e. I think it might not be a typo per se, that these people have internalised it as a valid word, and I'm curious how it came about. See pablodf76's answer below. – brazofuerte Sep 4 '18 at 8:10
  • I saw that answer and it is only his theory. I'm convinced it is a typo. – DGaleano Sep 5 '18 at 1:03
  • 1
    I didn't know that rapiditat exists in Catalan and it is accepted by diccionari.cat (the Catalan RAE). Looking at its etymology it says [1696; del ll. rapidĭtas, -ātis, íd., der. de rapĭdus, -a, -um 'arrabassat, ràpid'], so it would come from Latin rapidĭtas. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Sep 5 '18 at 8:19
5

Maybe we're witnessing the birth of a new word.

I don't think this is a calque. The English word is unusual, and the Catalan word would only be a candidate if rapididez appeared only or mostly in Catalan-speaking areas of Spain. Rotundidez is also rather unusual.

Note that more than a few of your Googled examples are from pages in Portuguese. The correct Port. word is also rapidez. This doesn't go against your question; it actually suggests to me that rapididez is a barbarism that just tends to develop from rapidez.

If we discard the possibility of mistakes and misprints and assume that the writers really wanted to say rapididez, it looks like the suffix -ez is being reanalyzed as -idez, maybe by analogy with -itud, -ismo and -icia, and the speakers have "decided" that rapidez is missing something. This would be weird because rapididez is clearly cacophonic, so much so that if there was such a word to begin with it would probably be eroded by haplology. But there you have it.

| improve this answer | |
  • I was about to comment that rapidity is not that rare but on checking in Google n-grams I find its use has plummeted in recent years. I suspect it sounds cacophonous to us too. I suppose we just use speed instead. – mdewey Sep 3 '18 at 10:49
  • I meant (mainly) it would be rare as the source for a calque into Spanish, given that it would replace such a common word. – pablodf76 Sep 3 '18 at 11:26
3

The word rapididez is not in the RAE's dictionary at this moment. I am Spanish but I have never heard this word before: not as a calque taken from other languages, nor as a neologism. Could it be a typo? I have tried to find it somewhere else, but without success. It can be interesting, if any other user contribute with more information.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    definitely a typo +1 – DGaleano Sep 3 '18 at 16:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.