[Ads-l] grieve, trans.

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Tue Jan 27 09:52:33 UTC 2015

> On Jan 23, 2015, at 6:38 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      grieve, trans.
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> OED (8b) has 'To feel or show grief at or for; to regret deeply. _poet_.'
> The cites from 1597 to 1871 are drawn principally from verse.
> Time to add "8c  To grieve for; mourn."
> The script of this week's _Sleepy Hollow_ employed this usage twice. IIRC,
> one expression was "He's grieving his wife and daughter."

this is an instance of what i've called "transitivizing P-drop", and you can find lots of examples, though i'm not sure how long they've been around.  in any case, plenty of instances of "grieving his wife" 'grieving for his wife' -- in addition to "grieving his wife's death" and "grieving the loss of his wife".

i see from my notes that transitive "mourn" 'mourn for' was criticized by some 19th-century usage writers, though it seems to have been a standard variant for a long time (as it is now).


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list