I just want to observe the acceptance of the verb "to surveil," which is a backformation from "surveillance." The OED has the first usage in 1960 in the Federal Supplement of all places — the written opinions of the U.S. federal district courts: "The plaintiff also stresses that the store as a whole, and the customer exits especially, were closely surveilled." I had not thought it was an acceptable word. I considered it something you might use jocosely or in depicting the speech of a cop or a bureaucrat. Here's a 2002 article in The Atlantic:
Your reaction to surveil is fairly typical of the response people have to a back-formation they aren't used to seeing: they don't quite believe that the thing is a proper word. But surveil deserves to be a word, it seems to me, because survey threatens to mean a technique of social science or, more likely, land measurement (for instance, here's a recent citation from The Philadelphia Inquirer: "One commando killed a soldier whose job was to surveil the border ..."). Nonetheless, some other back-formations that were coined long ago have never managed to become standard, even though no exact synonyms are at hand. Enthuse is a prime example. Though the word has been in use since before the Civil War, most current dictionaries include warnings that it still irritates many people. Ultimately, all we have to go by is our own taste. Does a word irritate us? Then we should try to find some other way to make our point. If we can't—well, then we've discovered what the word is for.All right. I probably won't use it myself, but I'm going to stop being irritated with other people about that, which — in a really subtly advanced and weird police state — would minutely affect my threat score.
ADDED: I had thought "survey" was the real word, making the backformation unnecessary. The Atlantic writer gives a reason against that use of "survey," but to me, it's familiar from the poem "The Solitude of Alexander Selkirk" by Willliam Cowper:
I AM monarch of all I survey;Alexander Selkirk was an 18th century Scottish sailor who was marooned for 4 years on a deserted island in the South Pacific. He's the inspiration not just for that poem but for "Robinson Crusoe."
My right there is none to dispute;
From the centre all round to the sea
I am lord of the fowl and the brute
O Solitude! where are the charms
That sages have seen in thy face?
Better dwell in the midst of alarms,
Than reign in this horrible place.
I am out of humanity's reach;
I must finish my journey alone;
Never hear the sweet music of speech—
I start at the sound of my own;
The beasts that roam over the plain
My form with indifference see—
They are so unacquainted with man,
Their tameness is shocking to me.
Society, Friendship, and Love
Divinely bestow'd upon man,
Oh had I the wings of a dove
How soon would I taste you again!
My sorrows I then might assuage
In the ways of religion and truth,
Might learn from the wisdom of age,
And be cheer'd by the sallies of youth.
Ye winds that have made me your sport,
Convey to this desolate shore
Some cordial endearing report
Of a land I shall visit no more.
My friends, do they now and then send
A wish or a thought after me?
O tell me I yet have a friend,
Though a friend I am never to see.
How fleet is a glance of the mind!
Compared with the speed of its flight,
The tempest itself lags behind,
And the swift-wingèd arrows of light.
When I think of my own native land,
In a moment I seem to be there;
But, alas! recollection at hand
Soon hurries me back to despair.
But the sea-fowl is gone to her nest,
The beast is laid down in his lair;
Even here is a season of rest,
And I to my cabin repair.
There's mercy in every place;
And mercy—encouraging thought!—
Gives even affliction a grace,
And reconciles man to his lot.