gentile = ethnonymic (was: Heard on The Judges: crack)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Apr 13 00:21:16 UTC 2008

At 7:54 PM -0400 4/12/08, Mark Mandel wrote:
>On Sat, Apr 12, 2008 at 6:49 PM, Benjamin Zimmer
><bgzimmer at> wrote:
>>  Speaking of adj > n confusion, here's a snippet from Safire's latest
>>  "On Language" column:
>>  ---
>>  Most people take the noun _perfect_ to mean "flawless, faultless,
>>  impeccable," as in the King James translation of God's description of
>>  Job as "a perfect and an upright man."
>Oh sh.t, Safire at least knows better than THAT!
In the same column, Safire also writes "The primary meaning of the
noun, pronounced PERfect, is "complete, whole, finished," and the
verb taking that action, pronounced perFECT, means "to complete, make
whole, finish".

Maybe two nouns make an adjective?


The American Dialect Society -

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