gone wild

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon May 1 15:54:09 UTC 2006

On May 1, 2006, at 8:05 AM, William Salmon wrote:

> A friend referred to a grossly overspellchecked paragraph as
> ?spellcheck gone wild?.  It?s interesting the amount of use of 'X
> gone wild' I have been seeing lately.  I assume this is at least in
> part
> due the publicity received by the Girls Gone Wild spring break
> videos in
> the last few years.

undoubtedly.  a fresh snowclone!

predictably, there's now a Guys Gone Wild series.

> Google provides: weeds gone wild, roads gone wild, Bush kids gone
> wild,
> divas gone wild, feminist gone wild, neo-Cons gone wild, generals gone
> wild.

my favorite so far: Fellini's Satyricon described as "Greco-Roman
boys gone wild".

> The OED provides a 1960 example of a predator of rabbits as ?gone-wild
> cats?.  Presumably not the same usage.

surely not.  "go" + Adj has been around for some time, with various
idiomatic specializations, one of which "go wild" served as the basis
for the video title, which in turn survived as the basis of a snowclone.

"gone-wild" as a prenominal modifier strikes me as comprehensible but
not something i'd say.  postnominal modification ("girls gone wild"
'girls who have gone wild') is much more natural.


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

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