Can you feature that!?

Donald M. Lance LanceDM at MISSOURI.EDU
Sun Apr 16 05:38:48 UTC 2000

To me, another South Texan, from about 60 miles west of Rudy's home, this use of feature
doesn't necessarily imply "disapproving incredulity."  I think I would use it to imply
mere unlikelihood or incredulity of varying stripes, including jocularity.  "Can you
feature him ever being lucky enough to win the lottery?"  "I just can't feature him
marrying Mabel."  (ambiguous out of context: focus on him or focus on Mabel)  Maybe Rudy
just heard it from his mother.

Rudolph C Troike wrote:

> I agree with Robert Kelly's interpretation; the quoted DARE definition (I
> didn't check it myself) is too spare to derive the sense of disapproving
> incredulity implied. Interesting how an important implication might be lost
> in a dictionary definition.
>         I am certainly familiar with the usage from south Texas, but I
> can't identify any particular source, though it sounds a bit old fashioned
> and primarily female.
>         Rudy

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