Heard on MSNBC

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sat May 9 14:09:21 UTC 2009

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
M Covarrubias
Sent: Saturday, May 09, 2009 5:38 AM
Subject: Re: Heard on MSNBC

> maddow's use is different from "the other" form. instead of "the ADJ
> ___" ellipsis she often uses it in a line like 'he's afraid he'll
> catch the gay' mocking the fear of 'gay' as a contagious condition and
> a true noun. kinda like "the plague". well... similar to 'the stupid'
> and 'the ugly' meaning 'the stupidness' and 'the ugliness' i guess.
> or at least that's how i understand her joke.

I understand Maddow's usage to be mocking the conservatives who don't quite
get the lingo. It's like a person of a certain age referring the "the
Google." She only uses "the gay" in reference to homophobes, at least that's
the only way I've heard her use it. (I'm only an occasional viewer.)

It's a bit different than "the funny" and other nominalization of
adjectives. BTW, "the" + [adjective] construction in general and "the funny"
in particular has been around for years.

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

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