"Rick Perry _double_ _downed_ on his denial of climate science."

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sun Oct 2 17:08:47 UTC 2011

examples with external inflection (aka edge inflection):

  He's at it again. At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire yesterday, Rick Perry double downed on his denial of climate science. [ext inflection]
(League of Conservation Voters Facebook page)

this was a comment on the following story (in the Los Angeles Times):

  At town hall, Perry doubles down on climate skepticism

  Reporting from Derry, N.H.— Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry may have backed down on tuition breaks for illegal immigrants, but he’s doubling down on his skepticism of climate-change science. [int inflection in head and story]

and on Huffington Post, accautotrainer commented:

  Personally, I felt as though the questions asked were soft ball questions. For example, when Rick Perry double downed on his statement regading “Social security being a ponzi scheme,” it should have been fodder for further discussion. [ext inflection]


  Obama double downs at AIPAC
  ... President Obama took nothing back from his foreign policy speech on Thursday and blamed the press for any controversy. He doubled down, making this upcoming presidential election a time for choosing for friends of Israel. [ext infl in head, int in story]

you can almost see the inflection moving from the head (the verb "double") to the edge.  there's a similar shift in some other idiomatic V+Prt combinations, where their semantic opacity leads to their being treated as units: ticked off > tick offed, pissed off > piss offed (the latter perhaps encouraged by "PO'd" for "pissed off").


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

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