[Ads-l] healthier, n.

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat May 9 13:12:57 UTC 2015

> On May 9, 2015, at 7:19 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.youtube.com_watch-3Fv-3DWSKU2CwTMSg&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=cGC7senOcmaOZjJrZtCpg0_71qb_5gdxkDtS7-AjITg&s=EvQ7JkLp6nbiqlSK9sipYlzRYPD-wn34tQFGlS4RCv4&e= 
> "The pursuit of healthier. It begins from the second we're born."
> This is the first ex. I've noticed of a nominalized adjective in the
> comparative degree.

Well, nominalized adjectives in subject position aren't that hard to find--lots of examples of, for example, "Richer is X", where X = better, safer, greener, not to mention "Bigger is better", "Taller is better", "Older is better", "Smaller is better", etc.  These could be seen as a snowclone (based on "Bigger is better" as a meme?).  But the predicate isn't always itself a comparative:

Comcast defends Time Warner Cable merger to Congress: 'Bigger is good'.

And many g-hits for "Slutty is good", "Sneaky is good", etc.  These all might be argued to involve adjectival subjects, with no nominalization stage.  Then there's "the more the merrier" type, which may or may not involve a nominalized adjective.  But I agree that nominalized adjectives as the object of a preposition seems innovative (or weird, depending on the beholder).  

How about direct objects? A somewhat marginal case from a novel:  "For richer or poorer--but I prefer richer".  Kind of metalinguistic, though.  I suspect I've also encountered "I like X" for adjectival X (rich, slutty, sneaky,...).  How about "There's nothing wrong with X", where X is an adjective that's the object of a preposition?  

"There's nothing wrong with bigger and better."

"There's nothing wrong with smaller at all"


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