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

Guy Letourneau Owner guy1656 at CENTURYLINK.NET
Thu Oct 1 19:00:21 UTC 2015

Sounds like it's behaving like an adjective, meaning 'enhanced with powers or privileges within the game.'

For (1) below, that would allow "Rachel is [enhanced.]" but resist "Rachel is the [enhanced.]"
and for (2) below it would resist "The [enhanced] is trying to catch me."

Meanwhile, here's my favorite joke close to this neighborhood:

Einstein, Newton, and Pascal are playing hide and seek. Einstein is 'it' and so he covers his eyes and counts to 10.
Pascal dashes off and hides.
Newton draws a one-meter by one-meter square on the ground and stands in the middle of it.
Einstein finishes counting, opens his eyes, sees Newton, and exclaims
"Newton, I found you - now you're 'it!'"

Newton smiles and says: "No, you just found one Newton over one square meter, which means Pascal is 'it!'"


----- Original Message -----
From: "Benjamin Barrett" <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
Sent: Thursday, October 1, 2015 2:15:04 AM
Subject: The part of speech of it

---------------------- 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 (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/it#Noun) lists this as a noun =
and the Oxford Dictionary site =
(http://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 =

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! https://sites.google.com/site/aynuitak1/=

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

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

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