"on the improve"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 25 08:27:47 UTC 2012

On Sun, Nov 25, 2012 at 1:38 AM, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at nb.net> wrote:
> Strange stress aside, this seems analogous to "on the mend" = "mending",
> also to "on the run" = "running", etc., etc.
> MW3 shows <<on the mend ...: in the way of improvement>>.
> The new Partridge dictionary apparently shows this "[on the] improve" as
> Australian slang from 1959, with a citation from 1989.
> Google Books shows comparable "on the improve" in a published letter
> (Zora Neale Hurston) dated 1955.
> At N'archive I see multiple examples of comparable "on the improve" =
> "improving" back to 1829 (UK).

Clearly, Doug, *you* are on the qui-vive. ;-)

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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