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|Think it may have been a new word
Written by Tracy W
(5/20/2007 8:53 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Chapter 22: *coming out*, penned by Silvia O
My guess would be that "coming out" was close to slang then, or JA was forming a word she or the original editor of P&P had never seen in print before, so they put it in italics. In my area of work, people frequently introduce new terms and will distinguish them in some way the first time they use them.
According to the attached link, the phrase "come out" originated 1805 - 1815, which is about the time JA was writing P&P, so if the webpage is accurate this supports it being a new word that JA or the editor may not have seen in print before.
|Dictionary.com on "coming out"|
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