[Ads-l] Phrase: [Word] is doing a lot of work

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sat May 1 08:38:40 EDT 2021


A word doing a lot of work, compared to other words: provisional, unofficial musings.

Liturgy.

"...
Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields."
[Larkin, Days]

Those long=coated entities would have me believe that liturgy comes from public + work.

No way, I say. It's letters, words, literary elements that do the work.
An element never forgets.
Ask a Brahman. Sanskrit liturgy, learned words, do the work.
Go forth; have agency.
Orthodox Jewish prayers are ineluctably (cf. Penuel) Hebrew. Unless Aramaic.
Buddhists say you can ger the message in Pali, or even English.
Christians, mostly, pray in local language (though Greek and Latin have adherents.)

Ga
GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA.

Ththe key [Sanskrit] word is BODHI, a feminine noun in the vocative case, which means awakening. All the other words are also in the vocative feminine and therefore modify BODHI.



Hope that clears things up.

Stephen



________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2021 4:19 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Phrase: [Word] is doing a lot of work

Thanks. Excellent citation, Stephen. The meaning of the locution is
still somewhat opaque to me, but now we know that critics have been
using it for a few decades.

I agree with LH that the insight of Geoff Nunberg would have been most
welcome on this topic.
Garson

On Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 10:42 AM Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:
>
> The word ' snigger ' does a lot of work here , for it is not the echoes which ' snigger but the speaker's attitude which is sniggering . Like a nervous schoolboy, his attitude is actually one of uneasy scepticism and cultivated disdain: he pretends ...
>
> The less deceived and the Whitsun weddings by Philip Larkin / page 30
> Andrew Swarbrick
> 1986 1st ed.
> English  Book ix, 86 pages ; 22 cm.
> Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire : Macmillan
>
> Also with phrases:
>
>  <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://books.google.com/books?id=iwYaAQAAIAAJ&q=*22does*a*lot*of*work*here*22&dq=*22does*a*lot*of*work*here*22&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=1&printsec=frontcover&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj92ana1qPwAhWNQs0KHcj1CU4Q6AEwA3oECAAQAg__;JSsrKysrJSUrKysrKyU!!OToaGQ!6eo0rJPcVHD0In4ACFhjaprqZ00i5PJPO7rU_8PK2Rkdi6ddiLQMuYXo6wXlHjrQ$ >
> Outside the Book: Contemporary Essays on Literary Periodicals <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://books.google.com/books?id=iwYaAQAAIAAJ&q=*22does*a*lot*of*work*here*22&dq=*22does*a*lot*of*work*here*22&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=1&printsec=frontcover&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj92ana1qPwAhWNQs0KHcj1CU4Q6AEwA3oECAAQAg__;JSsrKysrJSUrKysrKyU!!OToaGQ!6eo0rJPcVHD0In4ACFhjaprqZ00i5PJPO7rU_8PK2Rkdi6ddiLQMuYXo6wXlHjrQ$ >
> books.google.com › books <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://books.google.com/books?id=iwYaAQAAIAAJ&q=*22does*a*lot*of*work*here*22&dq=*22does*a*lot*of*work*here*22&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=1&printsec=frontcover&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj92ana1qPwAhWNQs0KHcj1CU4Q6AEwA3oECAAQAg__;JSsrKysrJSUrKysrKyU!!OToaGQ!6eo0rJPcVHD0In4ACFhjaprqZ00i5PJPO7rU_8PK2Rkdi6ddiLQMuYXo6wXlHjrQ$ >
>
> David Carter · 1991 · ‎Snippet view
> Found inside – Page 17
> They have bought the pernicious ideology which " believes as a dogma that the highest cultural goods are or should be available to every citizen . " The nice equivocation of " are or should be " does a lot of work here . Of course highly formal .
>
> SG
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2021 10:33 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: Re: Phrase: [Word] is doing a lot of work
>
> Geoff Nunberg, thou shouldest be living at this hour!
>
> > On Apr 28, 2021, at 9:13 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >
> > Science historian James Gleick asked an interesting question on
> > twitter a few hours ago that may be pertinent to this mailing list.
> >
> > https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://twitter.com/JamesGleick/status/1387525011922198529__;!!OToaGQ!42tmozDvCHoIW6DIJliByfl_wKAkaLmaZrmBvV4pOpf8DiP93n9YiQuKhDhXm5G4$
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > I would like a lexicographer to tell me about the phrase “is doing a
> > lot of work there,” as applied to a word.
> >
> > “The word ‘merely’ is doing a lot of work there.”
> >
> > When did that start?
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > A scientist saw Gleick's inquiry and signaled me. Now I am relaying
> > this question to this mailing list.
> >
> > In order to be helpful, I quickly interrogated JSTOR and found the two
> > matches below which I tweeted. I did not attempt to interpret this
> > construct, and would welcome your analysis.
> >
> > Date: Winter 1999
> > Journal: The Threepenny Review
> > Article: The Triple Thinker
> > Author: P. N. Furbank
> >
> > https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://jstor.org/stable/4384777__;!!OToaGQ!42tmozDvCHoIW6DIJliByfl_wKAkaLmaZrmBvV4pOpf8DiP93n9YiQuKhKwvvTo8$
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > "Travail" is doing a lot of work here; it is the mot juste, but a word
> > that Newman or Coleridge could perfectly well have used.
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> >
> > Journal: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
> > Date: Dec. 2000
> > Article: New Directions in Ethics: Naturalisms, Reasons and Virtue
> > Author: Soran Reader
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > But 'education' here is doing a lot of work: it is richly understood,
> > as no less than the creating and shaping of the virtuous person in
> > childhood.
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > Garson
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
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>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!42tmozDvCHoIW6DIJliByfl_wKAkaLmaZrmBvV4pOpf8DiP93n9YiQuKhOxkx7Hf$
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!6eo0rJPcVHD0In4ACFhjaprqZ00i5PJPO7rU_8PK2Rkdi6ddiLQMuYXo60ZwL_RG$

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