upstage = "to raise to the next degree"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Mar 10 14:40:51 UTC 2007

Apposite. And not in OED either.


"Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Douglas G. Wilson"
Subject: Re: upstage = "to raise to the next degree"

>Not in OED. This should rightly be considered a stupidism, but since it
>occurs on a Latin grammar website I'll keep my opinion to myself:
> 2007 William Harris _Brief Review of the Noun, Adjective, and Pronouns_
> : ADJECTIVES have two up-staged or intensified forms...When adverbs are
> upstaged to the Comparative state, they do this: a) They use a form in
> -ius which is the neuter of the comparable stage of the adjective. E.g.
> tristius "mode sadly, rather sadly"

Compare the (not very felicitous perhaps) frequent medical [oncological]
use of "upstage" = "raise the stage of", similar to "upgrade": Google
(e.g.) <>.

-- Doug Wilson

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