"scoff" (tr.)

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Wed Dec 16 13:29:55 UTC 2009

So, Charlie, on a tangent, how do you mark these odd occurrences of
antiquated or obscure uses on their papers? (I'll be doing
composition next semester)

---Amy West

>Date:    Tue, 15 Dec 2009 14:10:01 -0500
>From:    Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
>Subject: "scoff" (tr.)
>On a final exam paper a student wrote, "But the recipient of the
>poem scoffs him: 'Proudly thou scorn'st my World-out-wearing
>Rimes.'"  That transitive "scoff" seems very odd to me; I would have
>assumed it's a mistake for "scorns" if the actual word "scorn'st"
>didn't follow immediately in the quoted line. However, the OED does
>give transitive "scoff," marked "Obs. exc. U.S.," with the most
>recent attestation from 1892. Google shows a slender few thousand
>instances of "scoff(s) him/her/them."

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