Plural adjective to avoid unintended meaning

Galen Buttitta satorarepotenetoperarotas3 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 24 22:41:26 UTC 2013

I wonder what implications this has for morphological theory. In my Morphology class two semesters ago we talked of genitive phrases (e.g., "boat dock") as a compound word, in which the first element is typically a singular. (Examples like "glasses case" are still singular because "glasses" is thought of as singular.) But then there are counterexamples such as "numbers runner", "numbers station", and now "extras casting".

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> On Dec 24, 2013, at 13:32, "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Plural adjective to avoid unintended meaning
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 12/24/2013 09:35 AM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>>> The transcript at
>> "And so we had a wonderful casting, extra casting agent and also,
>> you know, extras casting agent who brought us wonderful faces and
>> we were able to see who we really, you know, could work with."
>> "extra casting agent" is ambiguous, between a reading with "extra"
>> as an adjective 'surplus' and "extra" as a noun referring t,o an
>> actor.  "extras casting agent" has the noun.
> An "extras-casting agent" would not confuse or bother me.
> Joel
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