Check out the comment from sportzzzgirl at the link below, “Strange development in language”, where she is complaining about the use of the verb “spell” to mean “to be relieved at their post”, which has been in the English language, as someone else quickly points out, since the 16th century … surely a record for the recency effect!
The original story is "EMT Stays on Phone With Stroke Victim For 8 Hours Trying to Find Her", Gawker 6/16/2013:
An FDNY EMT dispatcher stayed on the phone with a stroke victim for eight hours as rescuers tried to pinpoint where the distressed and slurring woman had fallen. [...]
In a letter or recognition for her actions, Emergency Medical Dispatch Capt. Philip Weiss wrote that "throughout the entirety [Hilman-Payne] worked to keep the patient awake, she never lost her own composure and remained calm while attempting to elicit more information from the patient.”
Weiss continues that Hilman-Payne “remained on the phone with the patient for almost eight hours being spelled only briefly for reasons of personal necessity.”
The first commenter writes:
I can get what this means but "being spelled"? Never heard this term.
And sportzzzgirl responds:
Me either. Strange development in language.
Like … the athlete is hoping 'to medal' or 'medalled' in this-or-that event. *Bangs head against wall*
A third commenter sets her straight, quoting a source that dates the sense "to take the place of for a time; relieve" to 1585-95.
This is certainly a fine example of the way that people sometimes jump to the conclusion that if they are unfamiliar with a sense or a construction, it must be an ignorantly transgressive error.
But I don't think this case will set a recency-effect record. In "Cullen Murphy draws the line", 12/27/2003, I noted three cases where a well-known writer proposes that "surely there are a handful [of standards] on which we might all agree to hold the line—this far and no further, unto the end of days", despite the fact that the offending usages have been around since the introduction of the cited words into the English language. And two of the three proposed "standards" require us to defend the language against usages that are even older than 1585.
One is the assertion that "Notoriety does not denote 'famousness'". The OED has
1555 EDEN Dec. W. Ind. (Arb.) 198 His courage was such and his factes so notorious.
1575 N. HARPSFIELD Treat. Divorce Henry VIII (1878) 37 The notoritie of the manifest and open justice of our cause.
And another is the view that "religiosity does not denote 'religiousness'". The OED's first meaning for religiosity is "1. Religiousness, religious feeling or sentiment", with citations from 1382 to 1887:
1382 WYCLIF Ecclus. i. 17 The drede of the Lord [is] religiosite of kunnyng. Ibid. 18 Religiosite shal kepen, and iustefien the herte.
1483 CAXTON Gold. Leg. 245/1 There is treble generacion spirituel of god, that is to saye, of natyuyte, religyosite, and of body mortalite.