[Ads-l] to ------ drive (fill in blank)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 9 16:28:35 UTC 2015

I seem not to have mentioned this.

At some point, probably within the past ten or fifteen years, I began
jestingly to employ the new verb to "alien-abduct."   I've said to people
who were exceptionally tardy or hard to reach, "I thought you might have
been alien-abducted."

To "alien-abduct" was not consciously based on any formal pattern, but it
does seem in line with current verbal trends.

Update: Many raw Google hits, and GB affords an early example from a book
I've never heard of.  Great minds and all that:

2000  Carole Nelson Douglas _Cat in a Kiwi Con_ (N.Y.: Forge) 112: Perhaps
a coconut was alien abducted to the Kohl Kompendium and forced to propagate
with a radiator brush.

Seems to fit Larry's theory about stereotyped actions.

To "radiator-brush propagate" would be ambiguous.


On Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 7:25 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: to ------ drive (fill in blank)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> http://daily.jstor.org/anse-aux-meadows-and-the-viking-discovery-of-north-america/
> On Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 9:52 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > A direct antecedent of "to reckless drive" is "to low-crawl," which is
> > universal in the armed forces. I don't know if it antedates the VN War,
> > though.
> >
> My guess is that it does, learning and using the low crawl being one of the
> more unforgettable aspects of basic training and one that engenders great
> respect for the infantryman. The low crawl is hard to describe, but it
> entails lying as flat on the ground as possible, so that your face has to
> be turned to the side, and moving forward as quickly as possible, even
> though your immediate impression is that it's not possible to move at all,
> while in that position.
> There's also a "high crawl," which is "high" only when contrasted with the
> low crawl.
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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