Heard on The Judges

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 29 17:13:27 UTC 2008

Three other examples still don't make "be aloose" common, even taking
into consideration that these are merely a few sample examples, so to
speak. But it could be that "be aloose" is novel to me because it's
peculiar to the real South, east of the Mississippi. As for the other
examples of the type, "come aloose," etc., my point was precisely that
this is the "non-standard standard," as it were, use of "aloose."
Until my chat with my friend, followed by a search of dictionaries, I
was fully persuaded that "V (NP) aloose" was probably common to the
speech of every speaker of English on the face of the earth, as well
as completely standard, cross-dialectally, in the United States. I was
truly taken by complete surprise to discover that this was not the
case. And I ain't bullshitting *one* pound. It was a disorienting
experience. [arnold, I have irrefutable evidence that what you believe
to be the history of the name, Zwicky, is totally false.]

On the other hand, I'm not surprised that "aloose" is barred from
prenominal use. Until now, I had never considered the possibility that
it might be so used. Having now considered it, it's the case that I,
too, find it unreal. An' I ain't goin' fo' it.


On 2/29/08, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at csli.stanford.edu> wrote:
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>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
>  Subject:      Re: Heard on The Judges
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Feb 28, 2008, at 11:52 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>  > Late-forty-ish, black female plaintiff from Georgia:
>  >
>  > ... Anyhow, the dog was _aloose_."
>  >
>  > It's nice to find an "aloose" in the wild. Ever since a
>  > standard-speaking friend pointed out to me that "aloose" is not
>  > standard - I was taken completely aback by his claim, refusing to
>  > believe it until I couldn't find "aloose" in any dictionary - I listen
>  > for it.
>  >
>  > What's really interesting about this instance is its use as a simple
>  > predicate adjective. Normally, it occurs only in phrases: break
>  > aloose, get aloose, knock aloose, come aloose, turn aloose, but no
>  > _*be*_ aloose, an observation with which DARE concurs.
>  not too hard to find examples.  here are two from the south, and one
>  citation from "Pittsburghese":
>    Its Aloose on the Internet. These were my comments to Mr. Hobbs
>  article on his blog page [Ted G. Cook, Savannah, Tennessee]
>  teddstablet.blogspot.com/ 2006/09/its-aloose-on-internet.html
>    Foreshadowing of events is used very effectively throughout this
>  story. Grandmother rants about the Misfit being aloose from the
>  Federal Pen 139. [essay on Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to
>  Find"]
>  www.megaessays.com/essay_search/Federal_Pen.html
>    Your shoe is aloose. (Submitted by Debra Harvey, Columbia,
>  Maryland). Ascared, Afraid or Scared. I'm ASCARED of the dark.
>  www.pittsburghese.com/glossary.ep.html?type=adjectives
>  lots and lots of examples (not as complement of "be") from songs,
>  mostly by black artists:
>    Billy Ray Charles shake these blues aloose - Song - MP3 Stream on
>  IMEEM Music.
>  missreneeriley.imeem.com/music/c3MHQJOd/
>  billy_ray_charles_shake_these_blues_aloose/
>    Funkin' it aloose by Kevin "Kstar" Shider. Funk. Funk Rock.
>  payplay.fm/shider
>  i'd always assumed "aloose" was widespread but non-standard.
>  though predicative uses are not hard to find, prenominal uses should
>  be extremely rare, since most adjectives in a- (many of them descended
>  from prepositional phrases with the preposition an/on) do not occur
>  prenominally.  so non-standard "aloose" (and "ascared" etc.) are like
>  standard "asleep" etc. in being  barred from prenominal use.
>  arnold
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