Safire on participles and gerunds

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Dec 24 17:07:14 UTC 2007

At 11:48 AM -0500 12/24/07, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>Thanks, Arnold.  I am fortunately constrained in submitting to the
>OED to decide only between verb, adjective, and noun.
>I do have one quibble, though.  What about the adjectival use, in
>"The stuffing ingredients are bread crumbs [etc.]"?  Or should I wait
>'til next November to raise this issue?

Not really an adjectival use, I'd say.  "Stuffing ingredients" is
like "brick wall", a nominal compound, and "stuffing" here is just a
noun, albeit one that modifies the noun to its right.  It fails the
adjectival diagnostics:  *those ingredients seem stuffing, etc.


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