back and forth

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sat Nov 29 18:08:49 UTC 2008

On Nov 29, 2008, at 9:22 AM, i wrote:

> all of these are based on the adverbial "back and forth", which has
> been verbed, and can then be inflected on its final element or on both
> conjuncts (cf. "up and went" / "upped and went" and similar
> examples).  the -ing forms are then available for use as nominals, as
> for verbs in general.

clearly there's some verbing going on, but the -ing nominals could be
direct nounings of "back and forth".  compare "to and fro", for which
there are both verbal conversions ("to and fro-ed", "to-ed and fro-
ed") and nominal ones ("to and fro-ing", "to-ing and fro-ing"), but
the latter greatly outnumber the former.


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