to instant hold; to emergency land

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Mon Aug 13 15:47:57 UTC 2012

On Aug 13, 2012, at 5:55 AM, Jon Lighter wrote:

> Current La Quinta commercial: "John can instant hold his room for tonight
> with one finger and his phone number."

a verbing of the phrase "instant hold".  i have some other examples of the verbing of Adj + N: "open source", "social network", "double whammy".  and a *huge* number of verb N + N compounds, like "bone-transplant", "air guitar", and "teabag".

> "Hamster causes a plane to emergency land."

back-formation of a two-part verb from a synthetic compound, in this case "emergency land" from "emergency landing".  a truly gigantic number of these; i've accumulated hundreds of examples without particularly trying, and have posted many times on the process.

> An emerging (or should I say "fully emerged"?) Inglish grammatical feature,
> not just a bunch of nonce-words.

both types of formations are unremarkable (though people notice new ones) and have been in English for a long time.


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