[Ads-l] dead fucking boring - infix diagnostic

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 23 01:12:42 EST 2017


Sorry, I think you’re saying that “dead boring” is two words.

What I’m wondering is whether “fucking” can be used as a diagnostic to determine whether two elements such as these are a single word.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

> On 22 Feb 2017, at 17:54, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> It’s not clear to me, either, but it certainly feels and seems that way. Are there non-infixes that can go there? BB
> 
>> On 22 Feb 2017, at 17:37, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
>> 
>> I think the occurrence of “bloody”, “fuckin(g)”, “damn”, etc. within a phonological/morphological word, as in “Massa[fuckin]chusetts”, “fan[damn]tastic” or “abso[bloody]lutely” are better candidates for infix status than “dead fucking boring”, since it’s not clear to me that “fucking” is an affix at all in the latter case. 
>> 
>> LH
>> 
>>> On Feb 22, 2017, at 6:05 PM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>> 
>>> “Fucking” and variations (blooming, bloody) are the few options for infixing in English. 
>>> 
>>> (Comic: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=8463 <http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=8463>)
>>> 
>>> Although it’s possible to parse “dead fucking boring” as “dead boring and fucking boring”, I’m inclined to parse “fucking” as an infix between the two. It, as well as “dead bloody boring”, comes up on Google.
>>> 
>>> Here are some tests that don’t come up on Google:
>>> 
>>> dead terribly boring (dead, terribly boring meaning dead and terribly boring is on Google)
>>> dead frighteningly boring
>>> dead jacked boring =? dead-jacked boring
> 

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