[Ads-l] hypercorrect pluralization of attributives

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Mar 29 13:24:39 UTC 2015


Why (in the subject line) hyper- and not (if you'll pardon the expression) in-?  Or, to be more polite, hypocorrect? Is there a prestige form the innovators below are aiming to reach or overreach?

LH

> On Mar 29, 2015, at 8:03 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> 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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>> 
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>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> 
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