Heard on MSNBC

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 9 01:12:59 UTC 2009

Rachel Maddow frequently uses the phrase "the gay" derisively of
people, usually conservative Republicans, who think homosexuality is
an acquired behavior.  This evening Keith Olberman used "the funny" in
a similar way when talking about whether Obama would be humorous at
the Correspondents' Dinner.  Is this use of "the" + adjective a new
pattern?  Obviously "the" + adjective is a common construction that's
been around a long time as in "The difficult is done at once; the
impossible takes a little longer."  It's this derisive or ironic use
of the construction that feels new.


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

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