"tot mom"

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Mon Dec 29 16:23:20 UTC 2008

On Dec 29, 2008, at 7:57 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "tot mom"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 10:08 AM -0500 12/29/08, Charles Doyle wrote:
>> The newscaster/commentator Nancy Grace on CNN regularly refers to
>> the mother (and principal suspect) in the disappearance and probable
>> murder of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony in Florida as the "tot mom." The
>> phrase also appears in the writing on the screen...
> I think this is one of those "deictic compounds" Pamela Downing
> characterized in her 1977 Language article, where the meaning would
> be clear to (and only to) those following the story...

discussion of such compounds on Language Log (with several wonderful
examples in the comments):

GP, 8/4/08: Canoe wives and unnatural semantic relations:


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