Fw: intransitive "hail as" = 'be; count as'

Sean Fitzpatrick grendel.jjf at VERIZON.NET
Thu Apr 22 03:24:05 UTC 2004

After a day of unconscious rumination, I've figured out what bothered me about most of Mark's examples.  They would sound better and make sense if the active "hails as" were changed to the passive "is hailed as".  Maybe "hails as" comes from people's mistaking the quality of "hailed as" and inadvertently shifting from the transitive & passive to the intransitive, similar to what has happened to "graduate".

We have this transitive meaning:  To greet or acclaim enthusiastically: The crowds hailed the boxing champion. (AHD4)

A Google search on "hailed as" turned up 20 pages of hits, the vast majority from headlines, e.g., "Microchip hailed as 'end of the faked orgasm'" (http://tinyurl.com/3hd9f).  Without the copula to signal a passive construction, it would be easy for most people to store this in the meme bucket as a past indicative active, and when the occasion arose for a bit of posh verbiage or headline speak in the present tense, the language processor would pull it out non-judgmentally, dust it off non-prescriptively, and blurt out "Microchip hails as 'end of the faked orgasm'".

Seán Fitzpatrick
Help the ontologically challenged realize their potential

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Peter A. McGraw 
Sent: Tuesday, 20 April, 2004 17:36
Subject: Re: intransitive "hail as" = 'be; count as'

--On Tuesday, April 20, 2004 7:46 AM -0400 David Bowie <db.list at PMPKN.NET>

> : This use of "hail" was new to me. I took it as an extension, possibly
> : erroneous, of "hail from" 'be from [a place]'.
> <cue complete and utter speculation> If it goes back very far in time,
> might it be related to the Modern German verb /heissen/ 'to be known
> as/named', but just have floated along below the radar until now?

The meaning of this new "hail" seems to be similar to that of "heissen" in
some contexts, but the two are not cognates, if that's what you mean.
There is a remnant of an English cognate of "heissen" in the archaic "to be
hight," meaning 'to be named'.

Peter Mc.

Peter A. McGraw       Linfield College        McMinnville, Oregon
******************* pmcgraw at linfield.edu ************************

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