Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jun 11 18:32:05 UTC 2008

At 1:06 PM -0400 6/11/08, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>On Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 12:16 PM, Laurence Horn
><laurence.horn at> wrote:
>>  At 11:46 AM -0400 6/11/08, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>>>On Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 11:06 AM, Mark Peters
>>><markpeters33 at> wrote:
>>>>   I've wondered about squadoosh... I've only heard it on PTI too.
>>>>  Could it be related to squat too? What a great word.
>>>No doubt influenced by "squat" (in usage if not origin), since it
>>>works like other "squatitives"/"vulgar minimizers".
>>  And crucially, like other squatitives (hey, can I claim priority for
>>  that technical term, or does it predate 2001?  and when does it make
>>  it into the OED?), it appears in unlicensed contexts too...
>Well, you yourself used the term on this list in 2000, but you
>attributed it to Ross and Postal.
>--Ben Zimmer

Ah, so I did.  Curiously, though, Postal's paper on squatitives ("The
Structure of One Type of Vulgar English Minimizer", in his _Skeptical
Linguistic Essays" [OUP, 2004]) never refers to them as such, but
only as the eponymous class of "vulgar minimizers".  In that paper,
he also cites Horn 1996, which is the earlier Dutch version of my
2001 paper, so I guess the first OED cite will have to be to the
phenomenon of "squatitieve negatie".


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