From Benita Bendon Campbell, three more One Big Happy strips: on questions, compound nouns, and tense in nouns. And then, as a bonus, four strips on Ruthie’s interpretations of words.
Archive for the ‘Synthetic compounds’ Category
… this time fitting into my gay sex postings, about the verb spit-roast. I didn’t see it for a while, because the OED seems to treat the verb as a direct compound, from N spit + V roast: ‘roast on a spit’. But N + V compounds are not particularly common — except as the end result of synthetic compounding followed by back-formation.
Once I start looking at synthetic compounds and back-formation, new examples pop up all over the place. Two today: the synthetic compounds truth-teller (and truth-telling) and go-go dancer (and go-go dancing) — from which, the verbs to truth-tell and to go-go dance. (more…)
From discussions of rape in recent news, the synthetic compounds slut-shaming and victim-blaming — and, no surprise, the back-formed verbs slut-shame and victim-blame.
From Maureen Dowd’s NYT op-ed column (“Can We Get Hillary Without the Foolery?”) today:
She was supposed to go off to a spa, rest and get back in shape after her grueling laps around the world. But instead she’s a tornado of activity, speaking at global women’s conferences in D.C. and New York; starting to buck-rake on the speaking circuit; putting out a video flipping her position to support gay marriage; and signing a lucrative deal for a memoir on world affairs — all as PACs spring up around her, Bill Clinton and Carville begin to foment, and Chelsea lands on the cover of this week’s Parade, talking about how “unapologetically and unabashedly” biased she is about her mother’s future.
I was stopped short for a while by buck-rake, but then I figured it out: buck-raking is attested, so buck-rake could be a back-formation from it; and muckrake / muckraking is probably involved, so there’s likely to be a portmanteau with buck ‘dollar’ in there.
From Jon Lighter on ADS-L, this report:
CNN tells of a hockey player who “loves to hard-hit.”
That’s a back-formation from the expressions hard-hitting and/or hard-hitter – synthetic compounds of a type I don’t think I’ve written about here (with an adverb incorporated into the compound, rather than a noun, as is usually the case).
I haven’t found the CNN quotation on-line, and searches for other examples of a verb hard-hit run up against the use of hard-hit as a modifier (with PSP hit), as in
Wintry storm brings new woe to hard-hit Northeast (link)
Can Hard-Hit States Reinvent Themselves? (link)
For some time now, I’ve been analyzing gay male porn flicks from several points of view: the construction of various gay identities, genre conventions, and so on. Every so often, points of linguistic interest turn up in the flicks; well, they are, after all, sources of data like any other, and I’m giving them very close attention, so I pick up things I might have missed in other data. A recent find, in a long-running analysis of Jeff Stryker flicks — on b/t (roughly, bottom/top relations between men), the Total Top role, functions of mess in depictions of (fantasy) gay sex, the organization of sex talk, etc. — is a striking bit of syntax from the Falcon Studios description of Stryker’s first movie, Bigger Than Life:
Jeff Quinn watches superstar Jeff Stryker showing his rock star charisma as he struts his stuff on stage with his big-haired band. And like his song says, he’s “Bigger Than Life!” The infatuated fan waits like a stagedoor Johnny hoping to realize his dream of meeting his hero, and better yet, getting starfucked by Stryker’s monster cock.
The datum is: get starfucked by Stryker’s monster cock. Could have been just fucked, but the writer went for the more colorful starfucked instead.
Notes on my Friday and Saturday, doing things, with the help of Elizabeth Traugott, to get ready for surgery on Wednesday. Friday afternoon at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (family practice and physical therapy), Saturday morning at the Stanford University Medical Center and the Footwear Etc. store in Palo Alto. (Otherwise, a lot of exhausted sleep.) With some linguistic observations along the way.
Three two-part back-formed verbs of interest came past me recently: an old acquaintance, to executive-produce ‘act as executive producer for’ [in film, tv, recordings, etc.]; to open carry ‘(lawfully) openly carry (firearms), (lawfully) carry (firearms) in the open’; and to way-find ‘to find one’s way (using some scheme or device)’.
From the 8/25/12 Economist, “Touchable after all”, p. 32:
The arrest shocked the country and foreign investors. [Vietnamese banking tycoon Nguyen Duc] Kien was one of the Bentley-driving, abalone-munching moguls though untouchable because of the wealth, power and connections they amassed as the ruling Communist Party followed China’s lead in opening up the economy.
Bentley-driving and abalone-munching: two synthetic compounds incorporating an object into a V in its PRP (or -ing) form, the whole used here invidiously to characterize someone’s social habits, especially what they eat and drink — a morphological construction (with its sociocultural concomitants) featured notably in the title of Geoff Nunberg’s 2006 book:
Talking right: How conservatives turned liberalism into a tax-raising, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show.
(I sometimes think of this as “Nunberg incorporation”.)