LINGUIST List 9.758

Thu May 21 1998

Disc: English Change

Editor for this issue: Julie Wilson <julielinguistlist.org>


Directory

  1. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, "Fun" adjective or noun
  2. Waruno Mahdi, "The" and place names
  3. Jila Ghomeshi, Re: Emphatic "so"

Message 1: "Fun" adjective or noun

Date: Thu, 21 May 98 08:14 EDT
From: Dr. Joel M. Hoffman <joelexc.com>
Subject: "Fun" adjective or noun

>Joel Hoffman writes:

><I came across this by accident, and haven't tested it too widely, but
>it seems that the word "fun" used to be solely a noun (and it's only
>listed as such in the EOD), but it is now becoming an adjective.>

Many people have pointed out this construction to me. But in addition
to adjecties, nouns can appear before other nouns in English, as for
example:

	a stone house
	a diamond ring
	a fun game

The difference is that nouns don't have comparatives:

	* a more stone house 
	* a more diamong ring
	% a more fun game 

-Joel Hoffman
(joelexc.com)
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Message 2: "The" and place names

Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 15:26:44 +0200
From: Waruno Mahdi <mahdiFHI-Berlin.MPG.DE>
Subject: "The" and place names

Re: THE

Little addition: I don't think anyone has mentioned "The Yemen" and
"The Levant" yet in this discussion. Then there still is "The Riviera"
and "The Co^te d'Azure". And how about "The Arctic", "The Antarctic"
(beside "Antarctica" without the article)?
"The Argentine" seems to be ever more often replaced by "Argentina",
already since before that "don't cry for me A." score from the musical
"Evita" hit the charts.

Not belonging here, I suppose, are the numerous "The X-s", often
(though not always) deriving from "The X Y-s" where "X" is a name, and
"Y" is a term for some geographical feature (e.g. X=Solomon, Y=Island,
or X=Appalachian, Y=Mountain). Also "The X" from "The X Y", where
Y=Sea,Ocean, or from "Y X" where Y=Lake.

Regards, Waruno

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------
Waruno Mahdi tel: +49 30 8413-5404
Faradayweg 4-6 fax: +49 30 8413-3155
14195 Berlin email: mahdifhi-berlin.mpg.de
Germany WWW: http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/~wm/
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Message 3: Re: Emphatic "so"

Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 09:34:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jila Ghomeshi <c2712er.uqam.ca>
Subject: Re: Emphatic "so"


My favourite recent change: in addition to intensifying gradable
adjectives ("It's so dark in here.") and being used as the emphatic
counterpart to "not" ("I did not", "You did so"), "so" can be used in the
following way:

(1)	You SO wouldn't.
(2)	I'm SO in the front row.
(3)	I'm SO not going to that party.

This use of "so" can be heard on most U.S. sitcoms. Example (2) is from
Cybil, about a concert she's definitely going to. In fact, this use of
"so" is pretty close to "definitely" in meaning.

The innovation of new intensifiers (e.g. "totally", "way") seems to be
quite common (in slang?), but this one seems to have a wider distribution
than the others. Also it goes with using "not" instead of un-/in- as an
emphatic:

(4)	I am SO NOT happy.
(5)	This is SO NOT possible.


- ------------
Jila Ghomeshi
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