[Ads-l] hypercorrect pluralization of attributives

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Mar 29 12:03:27 UTC 2015


CNN is talking about "the Houthis rebels."

I've recently heard "the movies industry."

Plus (I hope you're sitting down) "the aircrafts industry."


JL



On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 1:11 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: hypercorrect pluralization of attributives
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> At 9:29 AM -0700 3/30/09, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
> >On Mar 30, 2009, at 7:41 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> >>
> >
> >>At 3/30/2009 09:40 AM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
> >>
> >>>not ridiculous or incorrect, much less hypercorrect.  *the name of
> >>>the
> >>>dice game* is "craps".  you "shoot craps".  "crap game" would be
> >>>absurd, like "jack game", "measle infection", etc.
> >>>
> >>>see the OED entry for "craps".  of obscure origin (not obviously
> >>>related to "crap" 'feces'),
> >>
> >>But, as I learned, the OED also has "crap" and "crap game".
> >
> >ack.  i somehow missed that.
> >
> >i would interpret "crap game" as a re-shaping of "craps game",
> >accommodating the expression to the usual pattern for N-N compounds.
> >
> >i'm starting to find more such re-shapings.  i get small numbers of
> >hits for {"measle infection"} and {"mump infection"}, for instance.
> >
> >meanwhile, Joel Berson has pointed out to me that the OED has an entry
> >for "eave", back-formed from "eaves", with citations from 1789.  the -
> >s of "eaves" was not originally a mark of the plural, but in modern
> >english the word is standardly plural in its syntax, and that led to
> >the creation of a singular "eave".
>
> A case of "eaves" dropping, then.  And a nice addition to the
> "kudo(s)", "pea(s(e))" stock.
>
> LH
>
> >   though many sources (like CGEL)
> >treat "eaves" as invariably plural, back-formed "eave" turns out to be
> >pretty frequent these days; a google search on {"to the eave"} turned
> >up plenty of examples -- many of them with "eave" as the first element
> >in a N-N compound (like "eave strut"), but many of them not.
> >
> >arnold
> >
> >------------------------------------------------------------
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>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



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