"trash" 'empty trash containers'

Doug_Harris cats22 at STNY.RR.COM
Tue Nov 4 20:41:58 UTC 2008

The word 'trash' already has a verbal meaning, which adds
a rather odd implication to the quoted message. Unless the
message originated at Hooligan U.
(And the term ABM is an abbreviation, in many folks' minds,
for Anti-Ballistic Missiles. How, and why, does one 'janitor'

Arnold Zwicky wrote:
Subject: "trash" 'empty trash containers'

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Tom Wasow" <twasow at gmail.com>
> Date: November 4, 2008 10:02:49 AM PST
> To: "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at csli.stanford.edu>
> Subject: I thought you might find this interesting
> The following is from an administrative e-mail I just saw:
> The university has implemented a new a new program designed to
> increase our waste diversion from the landfill and also
> increase our recycling volume.  Effective Wed. 11/19/08 we will have
> your ABM janitors empty the recycling bins in addition
> to the trash bins in your offices.  By using your office recycling
> bins for all paper you will significantly decrease the waste
> that was earlier placed in your office trash.  Therefore we will
> also be decreasing the office trashing down to Thursdays only
> beginning 11/20/08.


a verbing of the noun "trash", but with unusual semantics (though
verbings often have very specialized semantics).  presumably, the
motive for the innovation is brevity.


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

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