[Ads-l] "dancing fool" 'a fool for dancing'

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Mon Apr 29 13:24:49 UTC 2019

> On Apr 26, 2019, at 10:37 PM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Newspapers.com has examples of a Vaudeville act in the 1900-1910s called 
> the "Dancing Fools" and later called "The Girl and the Dancing Fool."
> In 1920 there was a film called "The Dancing Fool."
> And in 1922 there was a hit song called "The Dancing Fool" (A song 
> called "Hot Lips" was out at the same time).

i've added this material as a comment on my blog posting "A standout in his shorts", with credit to Peter (and a YouTube reproduction of the 1922 song).

and i've added this note about the constructions involved:

The main text of this posting notes the distinction between forestressed V-prp N compounds (like "DANCING lesson" and "DANCING shoes") and afterstressed compounds of the form V-prp _foo_l with the meaning ‘fool for V-prp’ ("dancing FOOL"). But we also need to distinguish this "dancing FOOL" from afterstressed nominals of the form V-prp N with the meaning ‘N that Vs’ (like "singing COWBOY"); this is important because "dancing FOOL" is in fact ambiguous between the sense of interest in this posting and the sense ‘fool that/who dances’ (with NOAD‘s sense a or b of _fool_, rather than sense c (conveying (excessive) devotion to some activity).


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