Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 3 08:19:46 UTC 2001

At 2:53 PM -0500 1/3/01, Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM wrote:
>Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> writes:
>Is "nook" really obsolescent?  We had a "breakfast nook" in our
>apartment when I was growing up and I've come across various "shady
>nooks" and "quiet nooks" since, not to mention "nooks and crannies".
>It's a lovely old word, going back to the 14th century, and I prefer
>to think that rumors of its obsolescence are somewhat, if not
>grossly, exaggerated.
>Yes to all those fixed phrases. I was careful to say "obsolescent", not
>Now, do you ever use or see the word outside of them?
I think it's fairly productive, in commercial contexts inter alia.  A
quick google search turns up "Santa's nook", "recipe nook", "nannies'
nook", "users nook", "pumpkin nook", "kids' nook", and many "book
nook"s, and the total number of hits is "about 374,000".  It may be
somewhat register-restricted, but endangered it's not.  I agree that
it's not as likely as its synonyms to appear unmodified, but even
then I can imagine commenting on an out-of-the-way spot (indoor or
outdoor) that I came upon with someone, "This is really a lovely
nook."  I'm not saying I WOULD say it, but I can IMAGINE saying it.


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