viewn

I’d forgotten about this: some people use “viewn” instead of “viewed”. This is, I assume, by analogy with “seen”. The fact that it looks weird doesn’t seem to put people off.

Using (the very flaky!) Google Groups Search, the first appearance on Usenet appears to be:

Viewn from a technical standpoint, I know it is still quite hard to create a rather simple “alternative” (alt.) newsgroup

“Pete”, 7 January 2001

http://groups.google.co.uk/group/alt.support.eating-disord/msg/5e953f81f75bc0b9

Pete has an Austrian email address, and if you read the rest of the post it’s clear he’s not a native English speaker. Another writer from Austria, Christian, wrote on 1st October:

Habe bis jetzt nur einen [jpg-Bildbetrachter] gefunden und der war leider Shareware 😦 Bräuchte nur was zum viewn, Bearbeitung ist mir egal.

http://groups.google.co.uk/group/de.comp.sys.handhelds.psion/msg/28302d67243acb17

Taking these two messages together, it would seem that viewn originated as a Germanised infinitive. (All German infinitives end in -(e)n.)

“Mr Y”, writing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, wrote on 18 March 1993:

Often you will hear “computer nerds” or hackers use hybrids like “viewen“, “listen”, or “compressen”; these are, however, no real German words.

http://groups.google.co.uk/group/soc.culture.german/msg/6a3587d566806008?hl=en

Indeed, on 11 August 1992, Henning Sauer had written:

Im Handbuch steht glaube ich drin das dieser Monitor hauptsaechlich fuer DTP gedacht ist und dafuer und fuer das viewen von DVI-Files ist er bestens geeignet!

http://groups.google.co.uk/group/de.comp.sys.amiga.misc/msg/abf23f63667b01c7

The past participle is geviewt, and this is first seen on 30 January, 2001:

Diese können z.B. mit einem BrowserPlugIn (Cosmoplayer) oder externer Software geviewt und vermessen werden.

http://ww3.cad.de/foren/ubb/Forum55/HTML/000009.shtml

It would be natural for “Pete”, when translating “geviewt” into English, to think the correct form is “viewn”.

So, to return to the hunt for early native-speaker examples, there’s

how to search files that cannot be viewn in disk

(the label given to a thread at Computing.net, dated by Google as 2 September 2002)

http://www.computing.net/answers/windows-xp/files-that-cannot-be-defragmented/38705.html

?, 23 July 2003:

If you have viewn these statistics, then I would be really interested in you restating them here

http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=78105

“Khelder”, 1 July 2006

The controversial phrase is “Deutsches Vaterland”, which can be viewn as meaning that Germany was the origin of the human race.

http://community.lionhead.com/forums/post/2057427.aspx

We’ve got to 2006 (the date of Scott Kolp’s post on the subject, which is where we came in) and only got a handful of examples, from foreigners, geeks and, er, reactionaries. So I turned instead to (the even flakier) Google Books Search and hit paydirt:

Johan Åkerman’s 1960 book “Theory of Industrialisation” contains no less than three uses of “viewn”.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aWsIAQAAIAAJ&q=viewn&dq=viewn&lr=&ei=1EK9SojFFYeCygSOotS6Dw

The book was published in Sweden, by Gleerup of Lund, but someone must’ve proof-read it, someone who thought “viewn” was an English word. No wonder, for the next hit takes us right back to Victorian England.

“Southampton considered as a Resort for Invalids” by Edwin Wing (1848), page 22-23:

…as we have now seen that Southampton deserves a high reputation for health, it can well afford the darker side to be viewn

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3jMEAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA23&dq=viewn&lr=&ei=sEW9So3XJaO4ywTRgtW3Dw

And there’s more…

Jan J. Koenderink, in Liliana Albertazzi (ed.) “Unfolding Perceptual Continua” (John Benjamins, Amsterdam/New York, 2002), p107:

Rows of characters are viewn from a distance.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=baGkbSjdg0sC&pg=PA107&dq=viewn&lr=&ei=gEe9SqnzLp6SygTo4sW-Dw

Herwig Hauser (University of Innsbrueck), in “Singularities” (Birkhaeuser, Basel, 1998), page 293:

… R can be viewn as a formal power series ring in n variables over K.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=gviM1ZiCsDYC&pg=PA293&dq=viewn&lr=&ei=yEi9St3_IpDWygSkvPnMDw

?, Expert Systems in Production Engineering (Springer, 1987) page 172:

… extended semantical networks can be viewn as description … of interrelations among project qualities …

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=grQmAAAAMAAJ&q=viewn&dq=viewn&lr=&ei=Vky9SpWICo7ayASvqPTNDw

?, Euro ASIC 91, (IEEE, 1991) page 175:

… the two corresponding adjacent segments are viewn as a single segment.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=LN9VAAAAMAAJ&q=viewn&dq=viewn&lr=&ei=hk29Sq_2M6XEzgSewfjIDw

Nordenson, Finney, Bradfield, Bradfield (trans.) “Constitutional Documents of Sweden” (Swedish Rijksdag, 1981) page 18:

… the distribution of the seats totally viewn will become proportional to the number of votes …

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=w6zGAAAAIAAJ&q=viewn&dq=viewn&lr=&ei=Vk69Sv_oMJu-ygSZ7djbDw

Proceedings of the ASCA Annual Meeting (2001):

… the viewn monocular eye was at the apex …

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9E5QAAAAMAAJ&q=viewn&dq=viewn&lr=&ei=llC9SsywLI2-zATtxunLDw

Claude Teancum Barnes “The Wending Year” (1941) p 100:

On planet Mars beyond the fulgent moon,

Within the deep and cloudless sky of night,

Perhaps from mountain there the earth is viewn, …

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=STtdGKN_FUQC&q=%22Within+the+deep+and+cloudless+sky+of+night,%22

Brita Alroth, “Opus Mixtum” (1994) page 80:

This woman is shown in profile and turned towards her frontally-viewn companion.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=TXpmAAAAMAAJ&q=viewn&dq=viewn&lr=&ei=D1O9SsOHH4O0zASR4-3EDw

Revue internationale du trachome et des maladies oculaires des pays tropicaux et sub-tropicaux (1952) p 33:

When viewn from the standpoint of age the incidence is higher in groups 7 to 14, …

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AQ4HAQAAIAAJ&q=viewn&dq=viewn&lr=&ei=D1O9SsOHH4O0zASR4-3EDw

Taniguchi Kōgyō Shōreikai, “History of Psychiatry” (1982) page 159:

The k’uang Madness Disorder is viewn as an agitated variety of the same disorder, …

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=j_vOAAAAMAAJ&q=viewn&dq=viewn&lr=&ei=1FW9Ssz_JYO0zASR4-3EDw

Buchholz, Richard, Aliabadi, “Advances in Fracture and Damage Mechanics” (2003), page 346:

2-D projection of the Voronoi tessellation plasticity models can not be viewn as material specific parameters in the classical sense …

Like that last one, there were a couple more that Google promises to show, only to chop off the relevant part.


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