[Amended] "Irened out"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Sep 2 15:36:13 UTC 2011

I should have noted that "Irened out" was said in reference to the
roads and bridges washed out.  And I probably should not have used
"to Irene" in reference to "Irened out" -- that's an adjectival
phrase.  But the New Yorkers "irening out" is a verbal phrase.  (If
I'm not misanalyzing.)


Apparently some folks (are there any other kind of people there?) in
Vermont are saying they've been "Irened out".  This from a friend
whose daughter lives in Vermont.  But I see others are using it also
-- 212 Google Everything hits for "Irened out" at this
instant.  ("Irene out" is too much entangled with a noun-preposition
usage to look for the verb.)

Then there is one instance (4 hits) of "irening out" (with lower
case), apparently created by Mary Ann Halford: "New York is "irening"
out - lined up outside Trader Joes to get their supplies."  I'm not
sure of the exact meaning of this.  To me it has a flavor of
"takeout" -- in this case, when you can't cook because you don't have
electricity.  Or perhaps "supplies" to restock one's uncool
refrigerator.  But New York City -- where I assume all New York
Trader Joe's must be :-)* -- didn't lose power much?

* When I ask the Trader for stores in Buffalo, New York's second most
populous city, the nearest I'm offered are in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and
Michigan, 153 miles or more away.  For Albany, I'm offered Hadley,
Mass. -- perhaps managed by the Angel of Hadley?  Finally, when I ask
for White Plains, I find one each in Hartsdale, Scarsdale, and
Larchmont.  But these are really just outposts of the City -- their
residents would simply hop on a train to get to a Trader Joe's.


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

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