from my roving correspondent

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed May 14 15:33:22 UTC 2008

two items from Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky:

Opal: "But you aren't allergic to nuts."
Me: "That's right, I'm not allergic to nuts."
Opal: "Me too."

She went on like this. There's a positive/negative problem there


> But while pregnated with faults and shortcomings, GTA IV is lots of
> positive things.



item 1 is from my granddaughter, age 4.  she's struggling here with
the problem of how to agree with negative assertions in english.

item 2, about Grand Theft Auto 4, probably has an instance of the verb
"pregnate" 'impregnate', though "impregnate" would be an awfully fancy
verb in this context.  the OED has this verb (= impregnate "in various
senses"), with cites from 1686-1999. (for students of alternations of -
ant/-ent with -ate: the OED also has the adjective "pregnate"
'pregnant', with cites from 1598 to 1970, but marked as "rare".  it's
in my files from a 2006 report on sci.lang.  not rare on the web these
days: almost 180k hits on 9/25/06.)

as for "pregnated", you can google up plenty of examples of it as an
equivalent of "impregnated" (in various senses) and as an equivalent
of "pregnant".  plus examples of "be/get pregnated" 'become pregnant',
which shade off from the other two uses.

as a bonus: piles of instances of "in-pregnated" and "inpregnated".
and a few of "pre-pregnated" 'pre-impregnated'.


The American Dialect Society -

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