[Ads-l] healthier, n.

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 10 11:16:48 UTC 2015

>From the same commercial:

"After all, healthier doesn't happen all by itself. It has to be earned."
Etc., etc.


*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

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

I would not expect to see *any* of the examples discussed - or of countless
others - used without humor in many formal contexts.


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

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