[Ads-l] healthier, n.

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 18 06:42:38 UTC 2015


"It’s also what inspired me to write The Better Man Project, a book about
the 2,476 small changes you can make to improve your life today. ...The
cumulative effect of daily better begins to add up and multiply. Turns out,
better rolls downhill."

https://www.yahoo.com/health/17-easy-ways-to-live-longer-120121110498.html

JL

On Sun, May 10, 2015 at 7:16 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:      Re: healthier, n.
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> From the same commercial:
>
> "After all, healthier doesn't happen all by itself. It has to be earned."
> Etc., etc.
>
> Cf.
>
> *Bigger/ better/ newer/ dumber doesn't happen all by itself.
>
> In older exx. the nominalized adj. seems to be conceived of  as an abstract
> quality. In the newer ones, it is considerably reified.
>
> The evident uncertainty about the meaning of "Engineering amazing" on the
> similar thread last year about nominalization certainly suggests a new
> development.
>
> And just yesterday I heard these two exx. of the nominalization of the
> positive, which is similarly reified. (I thought it was unnecessary too
> keep noting these - it's a grammatical rather than a lexicographical matter
> - but perhaps I was wrong.):
>
> Animal Planet promo: "Your daily dose of cute!"
>
> Fabrese commercial: "It smells like a field of awesome!"
>
> I believe I first encountered this sort of construction in Joey Lee
> Dillard's _Black English_.  It seemed weird to me at the time, and IIRC
> Dillard implied it was an AAVE characteristic only. Now I hear something
> along those lines nearly every day, though mostly (n.b.) in TV commercials.
>
> As Larry reminds us, the nominalization process itself is old, but it has
> expanded its semantic range and only very recently become popularly
> productive.
>
> I would not expect to see *any* of the examples discussed - or of countless
> others - used without humor in many formal contexts.
>
>
> JL
>
> On Sun, May 10, 2015 at 4:18 AM, W Brewer <brewerwa at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Re: healthier, n.
> >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > =E2=80=8BJSB:  << Where can I go to take one?  I want to be a better.>>
> > WB:  You should learn from your betters.=E2=80=8B
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list