[Ads-l] "Noun adjective."

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 9 16:14:39 UTC 2014


On Sun, Nov 9, 2014 at 10:15 AM, Ben Yagoda wrote:
>
> From a 10/31 news report:  "Five football players from California University
> of Pennsylvania were arrested and suspended from the school after police
> say they beat and stomped a man outside an off-campus restaurant, then fled
> yelling 'Football strong!'
>
> That brought to mind the slogan the city of Boston adopted after the Marathon
> bombing of 2013: "Boston strong."
>
> I also recently learned that the city of Barrett, Pennsylvania, the center
> of a recent manhunt for an armed fugitive, has taken the motto "Barrett Proud."
>
> All this made me wonder if anyone on this list has any insights to the origin,
> or grammar, of this construction. The most prominent early use I'm aware
> of is the slogan "Built Ford Tough," which has been around at least since
> 1986. (http://books.google.com/books?id=_Z0iAQAAMAAJ&q=%22Ford+tough%22)

I wrote about "Boston strong" and its predecessors for the Boston
Globe and in a followup Word Routes column for Vocabulary.com:

http://b.globe.com/strongbz
http://www.vocabulary.com/articles/wordroutes/an-army-of-strong-slogans/

As I mention in the Word Routes column, "Built Ford Tough" actually
goes back to 1976.

http://books.google.com/books?id=3uEDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA26

On the grammar of "N strong", see these Language Log posts on "Army
strong" (which I discuss in the Globe column):

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003903.html
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003906.html

--bgz

-- 
Ben Zimmer
http://benzimmer.com/

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