"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.
These small flights of wit are reproduced in James Sledd and Wilma R. Ebbitt, Dictionaries and THAT Dictionary: A Casebook on the Aims of Lexicographers and the targets of reviewers, 1962, as part of their documentation of the reactions to the publication of the (in)famous third edition of Websters's Unabridged in 1961.
(I was inspired re-read Sledd & Ebbitt by reading David Skinner's The Story of Ain't: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published. More on Skinner's book, which I enjoyed enormously, in a later post.)
The entry for finalize in Merriam Webster's Dictionary of English Usage (published 1989) says that
It has been fashionable to scorn finalize for more than four decades now. Its magic year seems to have been 1942 [...]
Even as late as 1980, commentators were writing that President Eisenhower had introduced the word, if not actually coined it. And all the while it had been sitting quietly at the the foot of page 948 in Webster's Second 1934 [...]
Evidence in our files and in the OED Supplement shows that finalize is used in all the major English-speaking areas of the world.
Among the examples cited is one from S.J. Perelman in the New Yorker, 27 June 1953:
In this decent if oppressive garb, she receives from Orloff a ring plighting their troth, and amid protracted twittering the couple finalize plans to marry at once.
The Volcker Rule has yet to be finalized.
And in a story by Keith Bradsher, "As China Weighs Shifting Economic Policy, a Rivalry for Its Stewardship", NYT 10/19/2012, we find:
While the responsibilities of China’s new leadership team have not yet been finalized — and are not expected to be announced until the end of the Party Congress — the emerging consensus is that Mr. Wang is likely to be promoted to a position on the Standing Committee of the Politburo, China’s top decision-making body, but not to have day-to-day control of the bureaucracy that oversees China’s still largely state-driven economy.
Or Ben Protess, "Regulators Propose Capital Rules for Derivatives Trading", NYT 10/17/2012:
Ms. Schapiro and the agency’s commissioners voted unanimously, 5-0, to advance the plan. It now enters a 60-day public comment period, after which the S.E.C. and other federal regulators must finalize the rules.
In recent Anglophone cultural history, newly-salient instances of quasi-regular derivational morphology seem to take about half a century to become de-scorned. (See e.g. "In this day of slack style", 9/2/2012, discussing reactions to the nounification of urge.) Presumably a half century is how long it takes the last of the original scorners to die, or at least to abandon their positions of authoritah.
(Of course, not all new derivations are scorned in the first place.)