Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 20 03:04:05 UTC 2010

I think Ben's missing Paul's point. As I read his post, Paul's not talking
about the deletion of the complement, but about the semantic shift from
"being entitled" to "feeling entitled". The columnist who wrote the
paragraph about tantrums that Paul quotes clearly doesn't believe that the
air travelers in question necessarily *are* entitled to (whatever), but
rather that they *feel* entitled to it.

Ben's cite from Coles, saying "it is a matter of feeling entitled", clearly
doesn't incorporate "feeling" into the adj. "entitled" itself. And the Lair
title is from the POV of the individual referenced, who believes (s)he is
entitled whether or not anyone else thinks so.

m a m

On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 9:18 AM, Ben Zimmer
<bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu>wrote:

> On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 2:07 AM, Paul Frank <paulfrank at post.harvard.edu>
> wrote:
> >
> > When did "entitled" take on the meaning of "who think they're entitled
> > (to something or other)"? I've heard of a "sense of entitlement" but I
> > don't think I'd noticed this meaning of "entitled":
> >
> > "I’m not talking about the tantrums we see most often these days, on
> > the sidelines of youth sports games or the confines of reality TV.
> > (It’s hard to call the latter ones true tantrums, since you can
> > practically hear the producers whispering stage directions.) And I’m
> > certainly not talking about the outbursts we’ve all seen from entitled
> > air travelers."
> >
> > From a column in the Boston Globe (which I also saw in the
> > International Herald Tribune),
> >
> http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/08/17/a_well_thrown_tantrum/
> This seems fairly common, even if dictionaries have yet to catch up to
> the usage. It strikes me as similar to the progression of "fraught" --
> from "fraught with X" to standalone "fraught" as a predicate and
> premodifying adjective:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/magazine/23FOB-onlanguage-t.html
> "Entitled" could be used as a predicate adjective without "to X" as
> early as 1977:
> Robert Coles, "The Children of Affluence," _Atlantic_ 270 (Sep. 1977):
> "Again, it is a matter of feeling entitled. A child who has been told
> repeatedly that all he or she needs to to is try hard does not feel
> inclined to allow himself or herself long stretches of time for
> skeptical self-examination. The point is to feel _entitled_ -- then
> act upon that feeling."
> There's also a 1980 book by Jacqueline Carey Lair that is, um,
> entitled, _I Exist, I Need, I'm Entitled_.
> --bgz
> --
> Ben Zimmer
> http://benzimmer.com/
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list