Updating the OED IV: New words!

My most ambitious effort so far has been suggesting the new words "cert" and "certworthy." The OED doesn't have "certworthy" (though I think I heard some other dictionaries do), and it has "cert" in an entirely different sense ("this horse is a dead cert to win"). By the way, the OED's recently added entries include "yada yada," "Google" (v.), "calzone," and "fucking A." ("Calzone" indicates that sometimes even a not-new word takes a while to get noticed.)

Here's a portion of the list I sent for "cert" as short for "certiorari" in its adjectival sense (I've tried as much as possible to use popular media, not legal reporters):

1981 N.Y. Times 26 Oct. A20 Court rules limit the requests for review, the "petitions for a writ of certiorari" that everyone calls "cert petitions," to 30 pages. 1989 N.Y. Times 3 Nov. B7 A major Court task is the review of thousands of cert petitions, requests for the High Court to hear cases decided in a lower court. 1994 Christian Science Monitor 28 Nov. 12 The sharp rise in cert petitions since the late 1980s can be attributed primarily to an increase in filings by criminal defendants appealing convictions. 1998 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 10 Nov. 12 He filed an amicus brief in support of the cert petition. 2001 St. Louis Post-Dispatch 8 Mar. B1 It is something called a writ of certiorari, or, as it is more commonly known, a "cert petition." 2003 New Jersey Lawyer 27 Oct. 1/3 The following Tuesday they consider 60 cert petitions, discuss argued cases and vote on them. 2004 L.A. Times 5 Dec. 18 Having a cert petition granted is roughly 20 times harder than gaining early admission to Harvard. 2005 N.Y. Times 31 Jul. 11 Much of the clerks' work consisted of summarizing the thousands of requests that the court receives each year to hear particular cases, known as petitions for writs of certiorari, or cert. petitions. 2006 Southern Reporter (2d series) CMXXV. 91 In considering the State's cert petition, we deem it necessary to address today only one issue.

Here's the noun sense:

1986 N.Y. Times 24 Jun. A24 One reason I do my own certs [petitions for certiorari, in which parties ask the Court to hear a case], excepting summertime when I let my incoming clerks do them, is that I think the screening process to decide what we should take and decide is as important as the decisional process. 1986 Dallas Morning News 30 Dec. 22b It's also a big chance, if they do grant cert (certiorari), to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court. 1987 New Republic 16 Feb. 18 It takes four votes to grant cert and hear a case. 1990 Journal of Commerce 6 Apr. 10A Industry players have "guarded optimism" that the court will grant "cert," or jurisdiction, in the Reserve Life case, according to Douglas Martin, vice president and counsel at Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., Novato, Calif. 1995 Washington Times 27 Feb. A4 "On occasion it is appropriate to restate the settled proposition that this court's denial of certiorari does not constitute a ruling on the merits," Justice Stevens wrote in a rare commentary on refusal to "grant cert" as lawyers call it. 2002 Legal Times 17 May 1 If the Supreme Court does grant cert, the case will likely occupy a commanding place in the nation's First Amendment jurisprudence. 2004 San Francisco Chronicle 15 Apr. F5 He considered writing a separate brief, but decided the justices would be more likely to grant cert if the attorneys general stood together. 2005 Miami Herald 23 Sept. A3 It is not clear whether the court, which meets starting Oct. 3, will decide whether to "grant cert," before Brownback begins hearing motions at Guantánamo Bay. 2006 American Lawyer Jan. 74 D.C. partner Donald Verrilli, Jr., 48, decided that the usual route for getting the Supreme Court to grant cert — emphasizing a conflict in the circuits — wasn't likely to work.

And, the pièce de résistance, "certworthy," meaning "worthy of review (i.e., granting a writ of certiorari) by the Supreme Court":

1963 U.S. Reports CCCLXXV. 38 Accordingly, while I believe the case is not "certworthy," I would affirm the judgment below. 1970 U.S. Reports CCCXCVIII. 963 I am at a loss to understand how questions of such importance can be deemed not "certworthy." 1970 Federal Reporter (2d series) CDXXXIII. 283 Whatever might be left of the issue on any appeal from the really 'final' final judgment some day to be entered, the case is not certworthy as an interlocutory appeal. 1983 U.S. Reports CDLIX. 447 I question that this case was "certworthy." 1983 U.S. Reports CDLXIV. 58 n.3 Therefore, the Court's conclusion that the claim raised by Williams is not "certworthy" is directly contradicted by the Court's previous actions in Pulley. 1989 Federal Suppl. DCCV. 1314 Counsel in fact took an appeal on Ginsberg's behalf, raising an issue (RICO forfeiture) that was not only a difficult one but was potentially "certworthy." 1990 Federal Reporter (2d series) CMXV. 714 Indeed, until this case, the United States was the primary proponent of limiting the vacatur remedy to certworthy moot civil appeals. 1995 Atlantic Reporter (2d series) DCLXV. 1038 ORDERED, by the Court of Appeals of Maryland, that the writ of certiorari be, and it is hereby, dismissed with costs, the petition having been improvidently granted as it is of no prospective importance and thus not certworthy in light of 1995 Laws of Maryland, Chapter 625, effective October 1, 1995. 1996 Federal Reporter (3d series) CI. 980 Were we to grant the stay of execution here, I believe that we would, alternatively, court summary reversal or affirmatively mislead the Supreme Court into concluding that we believe that the underlying issue in this case is certworthy when we do not so believe. 2004 Metropolitan Corporate Counsel Aug. 23/1 This article explains the cert petition process, sets forth the considerations affecting whether to file an opposition, and discusses the indicia of a "certworthy" case. 2005 Legal Times 15 Aug. 60 The office is understandably concerned that if it began expressing its view that certain private cases were certworthy, the Court would draw a negative inference with respect to all other cases, in effect requiring the office to assume the herculean task of reviewing all pending petitions. 2006 Legal Times 20 Mar. 11 It strikes me that the case is quite clearly "un-certworthy."

Next post: We enter the 7th century!

P.S. In case you were interested in the first post of this series, there are some updates, based on the comments. Query: Why are there comments on the first and third posts, but no interest in "Mirandize" (second post)?

UPDATE: Reader Arthur Hellman gets a prize! In the comments, he posted the citation of a Harlan speech to the N.Y. City Bar Ass'n from... 1958. Once I verify this, it goes to the OED in an update e-mail.