"work construction" 'do construction work'

Chris Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Fri Jan 2 21:50:14 UTC 2009

On 31 Dec 2008, at 19:23, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
> yes, indeed.  here's one example of each.  more can be googled up.  so
> it looks like there's a small idiom pattern "work N", and people pick
> up specific Ns in the pattern one by one.
> I worked sales for this company long enough to put thousands of miles
> on my vehicle running sales leads.
> www.judysbook.com/cities/houston-tx/BtoB~Builders-and-Contractors-/
> 5403/Concrete_Forever.htm
> When I worked retail I used to bring a second pair of shoes to change
> into ... I worked retail many moons ago.
> www.wisebread.com/retail-job-lessons-learning
> I worked landscaping as a teen, and it's been a personal hobby the few
> times I' ve been fortunate enough to have a yard (none lately).
> www.city-data.com/forum/huntsville-madison-decatur-area/475196-n-alabama-landscaping.html
> \

I was wondering what kind of noun could fill the slot in 'work X'. It
doesn't seem to work well with the actual job title *'work
supervisor', or nouns that designate concrete entities used
metonymically for occupations (I didn't find anything for 'work
facilites'; otoh, these terms are hard to google). What seems to work
is an abstract term designating the occupation, but that's not a very
good characterization either.

Here are a few more:

He had also worked janitorial at a local college and he said the girls
were the worst to clean up after in the restrooms and dorm rooms. http://www.city-data.com/forum/hawaii/384930-real-issues-3.html

Earl creator worked fast food during strike http://showhype.com/story/earl_creator_worked_fast_food_during_strike/

I once worked telemarketing for a vacuum company, though it never
carried the prestige of the "soon to be afterlife" like your position
did. http://open.salon.com/content.php?cid=60972#comment_154077

See, I'm sort of torn on this now, as I worked telesales in high
school. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbouch/F2322273?thread=5984884&skip=20&show=20#p70274693

question for people who have worked call center? http://www.redflagdeals.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129818

Anyone ever worked security at football games? I will be working this
weekend, as a side job to make a few dollars. Looking to see if any of
you have done this before if so what should I expect? http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_forum/music_movies_girls_life/anyone_ever_worked_security_at_football_games

I've worked ER frequently managing overflow patients. http://www.ultimatenurse.com/forum/f38/some-psych-patients-wait-days-er-s-32724/

Arrived Fremantle with family and 120 pounds. Sponsored Public Works
Dept. where father worked bricklaying lived in Belmont then South
Perth. Father died 1973 survived by mother Barbara; children Norman,
Brian, Gordon, Gerald, Barbara. 12 Grand-children, 18 Great Grand-
children. http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/welcomewalls/albany_search_viewlisting.asp?PID=54243&PN=220&SearchKey=&SearchType=0
   (I don't think 'work X-ing' is very common, and this one employs a
telegraphic style, so may not really count.)

My feeling was that 'work [noun]' was implying a relatively low-status
occupation, but that's incorrect:

Layton worked management for a while and probably suffered greatly
trying to supervise yours truly. http://www.visualeditors.com/apple/2007/09/

Even when I got my commercial fishing license, or when I got done with
college, I worked research for the DNR, and they knew my nickname and
when I got my commercial fishing license in nineteen eighty-four or
eighty-three I came back from the state of Wisconsin, it says "Dear
Ichabod." http://weatherstories.ssec.wisc.edu/resources/transcription.html

Have also worked in state government as policy researcher and project
director, corporations as marketing director, owned two successful
companies (in shipping and venture capital) and worked in numerous
political campaigns, local to national (worked research for Dukakis in
Texas,1988). http://www.linkedin.com/in/emclane

Last, there's of course the specialized 'work [area of law enforcement
work]' as in

After six months of special training, he was made detective and moved
to Vice, where he worked prostitution, drugs, and rackets for the next
four years. http://amsaw.org/swetkyagency/submissionsynopsis-herda-nickandnoracavenderseries-backsideblues.html

... and for completeness' sake, 'work shift(s)'

Both men and women who worked shifts reported more trouble falling
asleep and staying asleep than did regular daytime workers. [...]
Among men and women who worked shift in 1994/95, less than a third
continued to do so in both 1996/97 and 1998/99. http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca/news/news_show.cfm?number=180


Chris Waigl

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list