On 'versus' as a Verb (another cross-post from Linguist List)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 22 18:14:14 UTC 2004

>Yes, this goes back beyond the 90s. My 25-year-old son has used the
>formulation as far back as   I can remember -- as in: Me -"Who's
>playing tomorrow?"
>Son: "It's Yankees verse the Red Sox."
Is that really the same reanalysis, though?  He wouldn't have said
"It's the Yankees play the Red Sox"; the form above seems more like a
clipping but not an actual back-formed verb as in the more recently
attested cases.  Could he have said "It's the Yankees versing the Red


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