[Ads-l] The part of speech of it (UNCLASSIFIED)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Oct 1 16:09:03 UTC 2015


> On Oct 1, 2015, at 11:59 AM, Mullins, Bill CIV (US) <william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL> wrote:
> 
> CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED
> 
> 
> 
> Is it useful to compare to the "it girl" of the 1920s?

That one is in the OED entry too (B. adj. 2), as is the "it" of "She thinks she's IT" (A. 11).   All a bit different.  

LH

 
> 
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_It-5Fgirl&d=AwIFAg&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=Pb575GPwsCZk3DXKCW3Lt-n4uy_PMz_6kcNewC3Wrec&s=Xhg7p7MAsLuizUWI73Z8ZDF7zufikNZwgU3ZpzEtwV0&e= 
> 
> 
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
>> Subject:      The part of speech of it
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> 
>> In various children=E2=80=99s games, such as tag, freeze tag and = hide-and-seek, one person is designated as it, which perhaps can be =
>> summarized as the person having the role of making someone else it = according to various rules. Wiktionary and the Oxford Dictionary site
>> = say the role is to catch other players. I don=E2=80=99t think the caller = in mother, may I? or Simon says is referred to as it.
>> 
>> Wiktionary (Caution-en.wiktionary.org/wiki/it#Noun) lists this as a noun = and the Oxford Dictionary site =
>> (Caution-www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/american_english/it#IT) = lists it as a pronoun.
>> 
>> 1. Noun?
>> If if it=E2=80=99s a noun, you should be able to say,=20
>> 
>> * =E2=80=9CRachel=E2=80=99s the it.=E2=80=9D=20
>> 
>> (Wiktionary but not Oxford has a different definition that probably = works for this.)
>> 
>> 2. Pronoun?
>> If it=E2=80=99s a pronoun, you should be able to say,=20
>> 
>> * =E2=80=9CRachel is it. It is trying to catch me!=E2=80=9D
>> 
>> Neither of those work, and the Wiktionary illustrative sentence (which = appears to not be a citation) is, "In the next game, Adam and Tom
>> will = be it=E2=80=A6=E2=80=9D showing that this =E2=80=9Cit=E2=80=9D can be = plural.
>> 
>> 3. Proper noun?
>> I don=E2=80=99t think it=E2=80=99s a proper noun, either, along the = lines of Miss America:=20
>> 
>> Rachel was last year=E2=80=99s Miss America/ * yesterday's it
>> 
>> 4. Predicate adjective?
>> Could it be a predicate adjective, along the lines of =E2=80=9Caglow"?=20=
>> 
>> 
>> The ice rink was aglow
>> Rachel was aglow
>> 
>> * The aglow ice rink
>> * The it Rachel
>> 
>> My first guess is predicate adjective and second proper noun.
>> 
>> Benjamin Barrett
>> Formerly of Seattle, WA
>> 
>> Learn Ainu! Caution-sites.google.com/site/aynuitak1/=
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - Caution-www.americandialect.org
> CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIFAg&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=Pb575GPwsCZk3DXKCW3Lt-n4uy_PMz_6kcNewC3Wrec&s=LTFQncybpOCQE2iZpeVDYNjPFBl6dCXKbCT8Vpc-PDQ&e= 

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list