[Ads-l] de-lexicalized initialism?

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 15 22:42:42 EDT 2017

The following sentence just popped up on a freelancers' mailing list:

Probably the most FAQ I get about freelancing is whether there is a pattern
> of busy-ness and slow times.

That "the [most [FAQ]]" threw me, because "the most NP" is not that
commonly seen, and here not easy to interpret... till you get past it, and
then it's *impossible* to interpret till you go back and expand it. And
then you can read it as

Probably the [[[most frequently] asked] question] I get...

which is not troublesome at all

Has there been any discussion of such anomalous modification? I.e., where
there is a multi-word abbreviation that is normally treated as lexical and
monolithic, and a modifier "reaches into" it to affect just one (or some
but not all) of the words in the expansion.


 . <http://www.gnuterrypratchett.com/>

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

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