[Ads-l] Equal time for denominal verbs ("food you want to fork")

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Mar 10 20:31:03 EST 2017

There’s a commercial out for Devour (https://commercialsociety.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/devour-has-food-you-want-to-fork/) that pushes the envelope a bit.  It depicts a guy moaning in ecstasy over his creamy mac & cheese and ends with the message “Food you want to fork”.  Actually, based on this and other web sites, there have been other such commercials for Devour out since last August, but I’ve only just seen the first of the two, on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. 

True, “fork” is attested as a verb in related uses, especially (OED, s.v. fork, v. 4): 'To raise or move with or as with a fork; to dig, take, or throw in, out, up, etc., with a fork.’, as in 

1882   Tennyson Promise of May ii,   And you an' your Sally was forkin' the haäy.  [sic]

—but not quite with the same implication (which is closer to forkin' *in* the haäy if I’m understanding it correctly).

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

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