Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jan 6 08:29:06 UTC 2012

OED2 does have the relevant transitive sense for "surface", defined as
"to bring to public notice" (originally in the sense "to produce or
expose (a defector, spy, etc.).", from 1955 in American usage).
Perhaps the editors didn't find enough evidence to warrant drafting a
corresponding "re-" form in the OED3 entry for "resurface".


On Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 7:18 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at> wrote:
> Transitive, but in the meaning "to make something come to the surface":
> Daily Kos Resurfaces Bain Bailout Orchestrated By Romney
> This is a potent mix: OED has two entries--one transitive, for
> re-furnishing a surface, and one intransitive, for something come to the
> surface (again).
> There is /no/ entry for somewhat metaphorical resurfacing--reappearing,
> arising or occurring after an absence--which would be a derivative from
> the intransitive version 2. But here it's the same meaning, but
> transitive (making something appear after an absence).
> Is this convoluted enough? Or am I missing something that explains it
> cleaner?
> Of the OneLook dictionaries, only Collins goes there:
> > 1. (intr) to arise or occur again --> "the problem resurfaced"
> > 2. (intr) to rise or cause to rise again to the surface
> > 3. (tr) to supply (something) with a new surface
> Not sure why 2. is "intr" if it covers both "to rise" and "to cause to
> rise". A few others mention "re-emerge", "reappear" or "re-occur"
> meaning, but not "make reappear". AHD and MW match the OED.

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