laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Aug 22 17:30:41 UTC 2005
>On Aug 22, 2005, at 9:07 AM, Barbara Need wrote:
>>I don't remember what station or what the program was, but I heard an
>>ad for some "news" program which was describing the activities of a
>>young man who tied a couple up and then they were "drowned alive".
>there are a modest number of Google hits for (passive) "drowned alive".
>i'd guess that the model is "buried alive", which *is* semantically
>compositional, unlike "drowned alive". the true watery parallel to
>"buried alive" would be "Xed alive", for some verb X that means
>something like 'hold/confine underwater'. unfortunately, english
>seems to have no such verb. '"immerse, "submerse", and "submerge"
>lack the component of being trapped underwater; immersion etc. can be
>brief, temporary. ("plunge", "dip", and "duck" are explicitly
>brief.) that pretty much leaves "drown", which as a simple
>transitive verb with animate objects ("We drowned the witch") entails
>death (though there are non-fatal extended senses, as in "We drowned
>Kim in praise" and "We accidentally drowned Kim in chocolate sauce").
>so "drowned alive" is the best we can do for a compact expression
>denoting being held underwater, while (initially) alive, for an
>extended period of time -- an event that will eventually result in
>death, just as being buried alive will. alas, "drowned alive" is an
>oxymoron. but that sort of thing doesn't necessarily bother most
Less compact: "buried alive in/by water"
I think I'd rather be shot dead than drowned alive.
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