LINGUIST List 15.90

Wed Jan 14 2004

Disc: Re: "Fun" as an adjective

Editor for this issue: Sarah Murray <sarahlinguistlist.org>


Directory

  1. Sikozu Johnson, Re: 14.3580, Disc: "Fun" as Adjective
  2. Jonny Butler, Re: 15.28 "Fun" as an adjective

Message 1: Re: 14.3580, Disc: "Fun" as Adjective

Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 20:53:37 -0800
From: Sikozu Johnson <sikozujohnsoncox.net>
Subject: Re: 14.3580, Disc: "Fun" as Adjective


Barbara Zurer Pearson <bpearsoncomdis.umass.edu> noted, "Just after
reading that "key" cannnot be in predicate position (yet), someone
told me: "The bathroom was key" (as in after a long trip, one of the
pleasures of the destination was the restroom.) That's not the same as
seeing it in writing from an edited source, but it feels like a step
towards it."

Indeed, I have heard it a million times. I have used it that way as
well. "That is SOOOO key!" is (regrettably) not rare in my speech, at
least when speaking with my US-dwelling peers.

As with most speech patterns, it is common among the youthful-ish. I'm
28 and it is increasingly common the younger my co-chatter, but
bottoms out about 21. Younger than that and this pattern is old-fogey
speak: that's where the vocabulary gap lies.


- Anna
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Message 2: Re: 15.28 "Fun" as an adjective

Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 06:24:19 -0500 (EST)
From: Jonny Butler <jrcb100york.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: 15.28 "Fun" as an adjective


> It's common also in American English to say ''X is the winningest
coach
in the NBA,''
- LINGUIST 15-28


You can hear this a lot in old delta blues singing; the most extreme
example I have heard is from Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee's version
of ''Key to the Highway'', where whoever is singing at the time
decribes himself as ''the highway-walkingest man this world can ever
see''.

Jonny Butler 
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