Heard on The Doctors:

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sat Mar 3 15:10:25 UTC 2012

On Mar 2, 2012, at 1:28 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> Emergency-room orthopedic surgeon examining a patient and thinking out
> loud for TV:
> "The femur looks like it's too shattered. Otherwise, to help the break
> heal, we could _bone-transplant_ it."
> Considering that this phenomenon is nothing new in a variety of other
> languages, it's interesting that it's taking so long for it to be
> regarded as sorta-kinda-maybe normal in English. I've used, and heard
> other people use, constructions like this all of my life. But, until
> fairly recently, doing it was regarded as a joking or even as a
> clownish way of speaking.

it would be helpful if you explained what you thought "this phenomena" and "constructions like this" were.

this looks like a verbing of a compound noun (the noun "bone transplant" in this case).  my files have, inter alia, the following transitive verbs:
  backstory, target-practice, mommy track, tea bag [several senses], jailbreak, sandbag, cloak-room [from Dorothy Sayers!]
plus intransitive "sunset".

there are surely many more out there; these are just random finds.

very few of the occurrences strike me as jokey.


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

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