Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Mar 7 00:20:57 UTC 2007

On Mar 6, 2007, at 3:55 PM, Jim Landau wrote:

> On Tuesday 03/06/07 at 12:00 AM Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
> <q>
> A syndicated "opinion" column by Michael Goodwin of the _NY Daily
> News,as printed in the _Athens (GA) Banner-Herald_ this morning,
> contains this clause:  ". . . Bush's failed presidency has stilted
> all debate into a knee-jerk response." "Tilted"? "Stifled"?
> </q>
> Maybe he meant to say "stilted".  It fits the context about as well
> as your two suggestions.  "(of speech or writing) stiff and self-
> conscious or unnatural".

but this "stilted" is an adjective, and Goodwin's column has a *verb*
form in it, but i don't know any verb "stilt".  "tilt" and "stifle",
yes, though the syntax (with a direct object and a goal/result PP) is
odd for either of these verbs.

i keep feeling there's a better verb in there somewhere, but i can't
think of it.


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

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