[Ads-l] "How would *you* _game-plan against_ France?"

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Thu Jul 12 13:28:57 UTC 2018

> On Jul 12, 2018, at 5:11 AM, Neal Whitman <nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET> wrote:
> Saving Arnold a few keystrokes, here is the link to many of his posts on this so-common-now-as-to-be-nearly-unremarkable compound, which he has even given an abbreviated name to (2pbfv’s, for 2-part backformed verbs): 
> https://arnoldzwicky.org/linguistics-notes/2pbfvs/2pbfv-postings/
> Grammarphobia fans will find many examples to add to their collections there.
> Neal 
>> On Jul 11, 2018, at 11:55 AM, Mailbox <mailbox at GRAMMARPHOBIA.COM> wrote:
>>> On  Jul 10, Jul 2018, at 13:28,  Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>> Subject: "How would *you* _game-plan against_ France?"
>>> American commentator at the World Cup
>>> -- 
>>> -Wilson
>>> -----
>> A reader of our blog Grammarphobia.com emailed us about a few similar verbs seen in the wild: to care-give, to firework (apropos of July 4), and to free ship (as in "Have you free shipped yet?"). 
>> I often see (and hear) "dog walk," as in "a good place to dog walk."
>> Pat O'Conner

there's more than one route to the creation of new verbs with two parts. the route in my postings on 2pbfVs is mostly though synthetic compounds (PRP, PSP, or AGT in form), which initially occur *only* in one or more of these forms, but later are extended to a full range of forms through back-formation.  that's the story for CARE-GIVE: first, CARE-GIVING (PRP) and CARE-GIVER (AGT), then later by back-formation, the full set of forms (PRS CARE-GIVES in "He care-gives for a living", PST CARE-GAVE in "She care-gave selflessly", BSE CARE-GIVE in "to care-give").

but there are other routes, one of which involves no back-formation at all: verbing of a compound noun (zero-dervation with a compound noun as base).  as in the well-attested innovative verb MOMMY-TRACK 'put (s.o.) on the mommy track' (as in "She was mommy-tracked after taking maternity leave").

this, it seems to me, is the most plausible analysis for the history of the innovative verb GAME-PLAN 'to formulate a game plan'.

when you see a novel verb with two parts, it could be a synthetic compound (not yet extended by back-formation), a verb back-formed from a synthetic compound, a verb back-formed by some other route, or the direct verbing of a two-part nominal.  and of course the same example can have different statuses for different people.

finally, once again, a caution about my inventory of 2pbfVs (which is mostly of those based on synthetic compounds): this is NOT intended to be a listing of all the 2pbfVs in English (that would be an insane project), only an inventory of those i've posted about because they have some point of interest.  as a result, it's also not an inventory of words that deserve listing in a dictionary; many of my examples aren't in wide enough use to merit inclusion in a dictionary.


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