Craigslist Killer

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Wed Apr 22 21:09:50 UTC 2009

The assertion was not about "punch," it was about "uniqueness," by which it seemed clear that the poster meant to indicate that the ENTIRE PHRASE " Craigslist Killer" is a proper noun. There is nothing in the data that the poster supplied that indicates that the journalists thought of the compound as anything other than a simple compound, like, say, "Milwaukee killer Floyd Pattern."
------Original Message------
From: Mark Mandel
Sender: ADS-L
ReplyTo: ADS-L
Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Craigslist Killer
Sent: Apr 22, 2009 3:21 PM

On Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 3:03 PM, <RonButters at> wrote:
> Unique? How is this any different from ANY similar appositive noun that
> indicates the way in which the killer hooked up with his victims? Would we
> think "Classified Ads Killer" "unique"? "Sleezy Pick-Up Bar Killer"? "Chat Room
> Killer"? For that matter, "Toilet Stall Graffiti Killer"? Sooner or later
> there will be a Starbucks Killer, I trow.

In that it uses a proper noun:

Proper noun:

Common noun phrase:
 classified ads
 sleezy pick-up bar
 chat room
 toilet stall graffiti

That's the analysis. FWIW, the gut reaction of this native speaker is that
 (Proper Noun) + killer
has a lot more punch than
 (common NP) + killer
at least judging by these examples, one real and seven made-up.

m a m

The American Dialect Society -

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