Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 28 16:06:38 UTC 2009

At 10:39 AM -0500 1/28/09, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>On Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 9:24 AM, Jonathan Lighter
><wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  There's also the question of distribution.  "Some hippie-looking guy" sounds
>>  100% normal to me, but "He was kind of hippie-looking" only about 90%.  Same
>>  for "A lizard-looking alien" vs. "The alien was lizard-looking."
>Which speaks to Larry's point upthread that when "hippie" modifies a
>noun it tends to be more attributive than adjectival -- "Some hippie
>guy" vs. "He was kind of hippie". The OED has some clearly adjectival
>exx, like "Imagine coming on so jaded,..so hippie,..and fed up," from
>the Village Voice 1959, but this might be a moribund usage. So the
>same type of distribution seems to apply to both "N" and "N-looking".
Also we do have "an un-hippie apartment", "an un-hippie sort of
violent zeal", "the sound of the Earth speaking directly to you in an
un-hippie way", "an un-hippie band", and so on.  There is the odd
"un-hippie" as a pure un-noun in the un-cola mold ("I suppose it
could be expected from an un-hippie"), but for the most part these
involve the modifier construal, like the "he was kind of hippie" or
"so hippie" examples.  (Similar to examples involving personal or
place names:  "an un-Berkeley attitude", "so Berkeley", "very
Berkeley", "kind of Berkeley", etc.)


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

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