[Ads-l] query on -s truncation

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed May 27 19:37:42 UTC 2015

Thanks, Arnold!  I followed the links at the bottom of your blog as well; the point about taboo avoidance of "innocent" uses of "erection" is relevant for a paper ("Nice words and nasty things") I'm writing on taboo, euphemism, et al. for a collection on Bad Words.  Relates directly to this discussion from my working draft:

More recently, the “innocent” meanings of _undertaker_ ‘one who undertakes a task’, _pussy_ ‘cat’, _gay_ ‘cheerful’, _booty_ ‘plunder’, _thong_ ‘beach sandal’, _intercourse_ ‘conversation’, and _ejaculate_ ‘exclaim’.  Two examples of what is no longer possible:
“I do detest conventional intercourse. Nasty! they are going into the church, too. Oh, the Britisher abroad!”
                    —E. M. Forster (1908), _Room With a View_, Chapter II

She [Miss Twitterton] embarked on an agitated description of the previous night's events, in which the keys, the chimneys, Crutchley's new  The vicar ejaculated from time to time and looked increasingly bewildered.  “Most trying, most trying,” he said at length, when Miss Twitterton had talked herself breathless.
                  —Dorothy L. Sayers (1937), _Busman's Honeymoon_ (London: Victor Gollancz), p. 113

I'll try to track down a similar example for "erection" as well, although it will mean doing actual searches instead of catching myself in amazement when these pop up on an audiobook I'm listening to... 

Speaking of which, I'm somehow reminded of an old joke I heard from my (otherwise non-racist) mother:

American journalist to Chinese ambassador:  "And when did you have your last election?"
Chinese ambassador to American journalist:  "This morning, light before blekfast." 


> On May 27, 2015, at 1:03 PM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
>> On May 27, 2015, at 9:14 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
>> A colleague off-list wonders if anything has been published on the truncation process described by one of her students, who is working on them, as
>> "-s truncation of adjectives and adverbs by younger speakers, yielding for example 'totes', 'awks', 'adorbs', from 'totally', 'awkward', 'adorable', etc."
>> Seems like I vaguely recall something on this but I can't remember what. Anyone?
> a little bit on on my blog, with references to ADS-L:
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__arnoldzwicky.org_2013_12_31_amaze_&d=AwIFAg&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=jeIPnVWgdM1-niNCa0uSmjVtu-VaB2W9MnX7Vq_uwjg&s=VVRM4vXspluv0l4Loz-lEIkMe5xyhgZSSQFuIaAoPLo&e= 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIFAg&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=jeIPnVWgdM1-niNCa0uSmjVtu-VaB2W9MnX7Vq_uwjg&s=-YTIcW8qn-OedzMVGsfe6vAZsmGss-YCJi05E-Cf4uQ&e= 

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

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