Conversion by truncation (Wa Re: No "damage"?)

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Mon Sep 12 20:22:59 UTC 2011

----- Original Message -----
From: "Arnold Zwicky" <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
Sent: Monday, September 12, 2011 11:48 AM
Subject: Re: No "damage"?

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: No "damage"?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Sep 11, 2011, at 10:59 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>> "Possible discriminatory effects on non-speakers of Welsh are
>> justified as acceptable collateral."
>> Should be "collateral _damage__," right?
>> Or maybe I've missed the point. The context is a discussion - in
>> English, of course! - of ways and means to increase the "pro-active,"
>> so to speak, use of Welsh among ethnic Welsh in Wales.
> we can exclude the financial sense of "collateral" here, which would make
> this an instance of "nouning by truncation":
>  Very commonly, adjectival modifiers are converted to nouns by truncation,
> with the Adj in an Adj + N phrase treated, at least historically, as a
> noun with (roughly) the meaning of the whole phrase.
> (and mentioned in many other postings).  i have dozens of examples in my
> files, and i haven't been systematically looking for them.  "attending"
> for "attending physician", "viral" for "viral video" (reported on ADS-L a
> while back), "Indian" for "Indian restaurant", and many many more.
Including "full frontal" to mean a "full frontal nudity scene":
This involves truncation twice: Once to allow "full frontal" to mean nudity;
another time to allow "full frontal (nudity) scene" to be shortened to "full
frontal". (Other examples, some linked to other blog posts, included.)


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