'word' words

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 28 23:37:21 UTC 2008

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 7:26 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> At 6:07 PM -0400 4/28/08, Mark Mandel wrote:
I wrote:
>  >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?

Larry answered:
>  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".

As I said:
     Yes, "collie" and "puppy" both imply "dog"
... or, rather, either of those words makes "dog" redundant, not the
other way 'round.

>                               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.

"?Dog puppy" is odd, I agree. "Collie dog puppy", IYHO, not mine. I
hear it as ((collie dog) puppy), which I have no idiomatic problem
with. (Collie (dog puppy)) would be weird, I agree.

Mark Mandel

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

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