Shout outs and hard ons

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Wed May 20 15:16:55 UTC 2009

Deja vu: I've learned that some speakers have "hards on" as the plural of
"hard on", and for me it raised the same questions about reanalysis as it
did for the term "shout out". Specifically, I suspect:

have [a hard] [on] --> have a [hard on]

...but for some speakers the reanalysis never occurred, or some speakers do
have "hard on" as a noun, but hypercorrectly pluralize it as "hards on".
I've written a post on the topic at:

The "shout out" thread from July 2007 began at:

Neal Whitman
Email: nwhitman at

The American Dialect Society -

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