'word' words

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Apr 28 23:26:35 UTC 2008

At 6:07 PM -0400 4/28/08, Mark Mandel wrote:
>On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 3:01 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
>>   An even more impressive Class 2 redundancy is "collie dog puppy"
>>   (6470 hits, some for "Border collie dog puppy").  So-called to
>>   distinguish them from all those collie cat puppies and collie pig
>>   puppies out there...
>More impressive? Yes, "collie" and "puppy" both imply "dog", but you
>can't remove either of them, because neither implies the other.
>"Collie puppy" is as short as you can make it without losing
>information. How is it more redundant?
Well, if you didn't know that collies were dogs, you ought to know
that puppies are.  "Collie" and "puppy" aren't redundant with respect
to each other, but they both are with respect to "dog".  Of course
there are even more google hits on "puppy dog" and "kitty cat", but
"dog puppy" (even "X dog puppy") seems a bit odder than the version
where the hyponym comes first.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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