[Ads-l] Help with the f-word and parts of speech

Bill Mullins amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 25 04:19:45 UTC 2020

I was recently in a discussion on another forum that went as follows, and I'd welcome any comments or corrections from the professionals here.  It's been too long since I studied parts of speech, and I probably got something wrong here.
*****************first exchange starts*********
John wrote:
"Consider the phrase, Jim is a motherfucker of an essayist. There motherfucker goes, happily modifying the noun essayist."
And I responded:
""Jim" is the subject (noun). "Is a motherfucker of an essayist" is the predicate. "Is" is the verb. "Motherfucker" is the predicate noun. "Of an essayist" is a prepositional phrase, acting as an adjective modifying the predicate noun -- it tells what kind of motherfucker Jim is. "Essayist" is the object of the preposition "of", and "a" is an article (essentially, a type of adjective) modifying "essayist". You can tell that "motherfucker" is a noun and not an adjective modifying "essayist" because if you delete the prepositional phrase, the sentence still makes grammatical sense -- "Jim is a motherfucker"."
******************first exchange ends*********
******************second exchange starts*********
Joe wrote:
"On another note, fuck if I don't love the Pebble. ["The Pebble" is the website where these exchanges take place.]
Now what is "fuck" in the above sentence? "
And I responded:
"I think that this is analogous to "damfino", which is a corruption of "I will be damned if I know".  So, parse it as if it were "I will be fucked if I don't love the Pebble."
"Will be" is a copula verb (future tense), linking "I" (the subject) to "fucked".  "Fucked" is the past participle of the verb "to fuck", and in this case is an adjectival participle; that is, "fucked" is performing the function of an adjective, and it modifies "I".
You can also make the case that "fucked" is an adverbial participle, in that it tells how I "will be", and words that answer the question "how" are often adverbs.  But I lean to the adjectival.
Either way, "fuck" is a (corrupted) verb participle.  What kind it is depends on whether you see it modifying the subject ("I") or the verb ("will be").
************************second exchange ends*********

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