As usual, my word of the week comes from last week’s writing experience. =) My heroine has just spent weeks preparing a performance, which went off without a hitch. Her father comes up and says, “You were a . . .” Sensation is what I want to say. But that sounds a bit too modern, doesn’t it?
So I look it up. As expected, I discover that “sensation” in its physical sense–a reaction to stimulation of the senses, so sensation of cold, hunger, etc.–is old. From 1610. I knew it would be. But what about the secondary sense? I was expecting mid-1800s, I’ll be honest. 
Nope. That one, the definition of “state of shock or surprise within a community” is from 1779! Definitely safe to use in my story, which was good. So out of curiosity, I looked to the next entry, sensational. As in, aiming at producing said shock within a community. That one was more what I expected, dating from 1863. And sensationalism in literature is recorded two years after that.
Hope everyone has a sensational Monday!
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