the meaning of "hair day"

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Tue Feb 8 15:15:34 UTC 2000

In a message dated 2/1/2000 11:01:35 AM, Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM writes:

<< I can't make any sense at all out of "hair day" >>

     Well, yes you can (if you are a native speaker of English and given the
right context)--you just haven't thought it through. That is to say, ANY two
adjunctive nouns are subject to interpretation according to normal principles
of English syntax and semantics. Suppose, for example, that you hear someone
say, "August 1 was a memorable hair day for me." Wouldn't one be most likely
to interpret this as meaning 'August 1 was a memorable day with respect to
hair'? If you read in a novel, "August 1 was an important hair day for
Toby--it was the day he decided to shave his head', wouldn't it be impossible
to parse this ((important hair) day)?

Those of us who concluded that "bad hair day" meant ((bad hair) day) simply
followed this general sense of "hair day." The other pattern occurred to you
and many other people (especially those for whom "bad hair" already had a
special meaning).

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