"President Strikes Blow for Finalize as English", NYT 11/30/1961:
In the course of his highly articulate new conference today, President Kennedy struck one grating note for lovers of the English language. He used that bureaucratic favorite "finalize."
"We have not finalized any plans," Mr. Kennedy said when asked about a possible trip overseas.
The new edition of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary defines finalize as "to put in final or finished form." It gives as an example the use of the word by former President Eisenhower.
A grieving linguist commented today that "Eisenhower began the process, and Kennedy is finalizing it."
And not satisfied with one little joke, the editors followed up with another — "Finalized?", 11/30/1961:
Mr. President, are you sure you gave the old place a thorough housecleaning after you moved in? It seems that your predecessor left a few loose words behind that you have inadvertently picked up. When you said yesterday, "We have not finalized any plans," it sounded for all the world like a previous occupant who once said, as quoted in Webster's Third (or Bolshevik) International: "Soon my conclusions will be finalized." In any case, please be careful where you walk, because there may be some loose syntax lying about. Meanwhile, let's invite the clearners in. They'll have the know-how to get the job finishized.
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