[Ads-l] TV ad: "My doctor says I have Skittles-pox."

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Aug 31 00:59:49 UTC 2016

> On Aug 30, 2016, at 8:46 PM, Neal Whitman <nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET> wrote:
> Isn't that the origin of "pox" in the first place, as still glimpsed in words such as "pock-marks"?

Not to mention apockalypse. 
 I was going to say it had already been reanalyzed as a singular by Shakespeare's day, but then I remember that the R&J line was actually "a plague on both your houses", and not "a pox". 

But maybe the "Are they contagious" person just thinks of "pox" like "scissors", "pants", or "panties", which do take plural agreement for one unit while dropping the /s/ in compounds; "pock-marked" would then be like "scissorhands", "pant leg", or "panty raid".  


> On 8/30/2016 6:20 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>> "_Are they_ contagious?"
>> The copy-writer(s) interpreted _pox_ as _pocks_?!
>> Youneverknow.
> -- 
> Dr. Neal Whitman
> Lecturer, ESL Composition
> School of Teaching and Learning
> College of Education and Human Ecology
> Arps Hall
> 1945 North High Street
> whitman.11 at osu.edu
> (614) 260-1622
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=CwICaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=fBaDxkRsqmuuZ_pjkgwH-u9gnYDf8Innxr3lluy2-Ig&s=RN7kJ0ncFrN9MZPTzswIpf8OMYVyyqNeYIcWFyTs3OY&e= 

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list