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Odd Adjectives from Nouns

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Odd Adjectives from Nouns

Postby Slava » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:55 pm

I recently came across two new "words."

Caveated - as in the carefully presented "good" news from Afghanistan by General Petraeus.

Misnomered - as in the misnomered German Democratic Republic.

Though they are perfectly understandable, I'm not sure I like this process.

As an aside, can anyone think of a country that has the words "democratic" or "people's" in its full name that is actually democratic or for the people?
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Postby bnjtokyo » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:36 am

But it is a well-known process:

A newly installed system
An uninhabited island
A seated audience
An established precedent

Your selected examples only prove the process that makes adjectives out of past participles ("the form of the verb used . . . as an adjective") is active rather than fallen out of use.
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Postby Slava » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:23 am

I beg to differ here. Caveat and misnomer are both nouns, not verbs. All the examples you list are from recognized verbs. You can't have a past participle of a noun.

Or have these nouns long been accepted as verbs, also?

If so, my quibble is moot. However, I personally have never come across a verbal usage of these two.
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Postby bnjtokyo » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:29 am

Whoops you're right. I was asleep at the switch.
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Postby Slava » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:58 am

Well, here's hoping you're all bright eyed and bushy tailed now.

I don't know where it comes from, but it's a nice bit of verbiage, IMHO.

Ow, did I just use "text" shorthand? Or is that one accepted now?
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Postby Audiendus » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:03 am

The following comparable words are well established: vetoed, subpoenaed, and (an exact parallel of caveated) stetted. (From the verb stet, to cancel a deletion.)

I don't like "misnomered", though. "Misnamed" fits the bill perfectly well.
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Postby Slava » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:04 am

Audiendus wrote:The following comparable words are well established: vetoed, subpoenaed, and (an exact parallel of caveated) stetted. (From the verb stet, to cancel a deletion.)

I don't like "misnomered", though. "Misnamed" fits the bill perfectly well.
Sorry, but your examples are all nouns and verbs. Caveat and misnomer are nouns only.
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Postby Audiendus » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:46 pm

Slava wrote:Sorry, but your examples are all nouns and verbs. Caveat and misnomer are nouns only.

Veto and subpoena (in English) were once nouns only, but they subsequently (several centuries ago) became verbs also. This process later happened with many other nouns, e.g. ration, station, holiday, telephone, conveyance, text. Why not caveat also?
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Postby Slava » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:09 pm

Audiendus wrote:Veto and subpoena (in English) were once nouns only, but they subsequently (several centuries ago) became verbs also. This process later happened with many other nouns, e.g. ration, station, holiday, telephone, conveyance, text. Why not caveat also?
That's why I put in the bit about them being perfectly comprehensible. I guess I'm quibbling over these two because it's happening in my lifetime, and we tend not to like change, especially in the language. I remember the kerfuffle when the verb liaise was formed from liaison, too. To old fogies these things grate. I'm not even a fogy yet, but it grates at times.
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Postby Stargzer » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:34 pm

That's the great thing about the English Language: you can verb any noun you want, and noun any verb, too!

:-Þ
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Postby Slava » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:39 pm

Stargzer wrote:That's the great thing about the English Language: you can verb any noun you want, and noun any verb, too!

:-Þ
You can stick your wingding out, too!
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Postby bnjtokyo » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:53 am

The noun/verb "gift" might be an example of the process.

My 1976 edition of the American Heritage Dictionary says "The recent usage of "gift" as a transitive verb, although not incorrect, has not established itself on a formal level. The following representative example involving active voice is termed unacceptable by 94 per cent of the Usage Panel: 'He gifted each of his nephews'"

(I wonder who he gave the nephews to? Some cannibal chief perhaps?)

The link to the current edition via the Search 1065 Online Dictionaries on this website seems to accept transitive use without comment.

Will "gifted" in this sense be an adjective soon? Or is it already? (The gifted nephews were soon in the pot, relieving their uncle of a hugh headache.)
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Postby Slava » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:26 pm

bnjtokyo wrote:(I wonder who he gave the nephews to? Some cannibal chief perhaps?)
This reminds me of a play on words I just read: Did you hear about the cannibal who had one wife and ate children?

I think it would be quite difficult for your proposed "gifted" meaning to come into effect. Gifted is already in the language, and with much the same implications, but limited to talents.

We do, however, have the new coinage of "re-gift." To take a gift you were given and give it to someone else down the line. Not give it away to charity, but use it as a birthday or some such gift. This does lead to "re-gifted" in both the active and passive voices.
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Postby bnjtokyo » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:20 am

First of all, the "gifted" that I refer to is not the one meaning "talented" but the one meaning basically "to give"
A typical example would be
"The donor gifted a first folio of Macbeth to the university."

Second, I looked at Fowler's "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage." (Although this tome is no longer so modern) And I found somewhat examples of adjectives derived from nouns using -ed. He offers
"the wistaria'd wall"
"a rich-fauna'd region"
"long-pedigree'd families"
"subpoena'd witnesses"
He says the suffix means "having" or "provided with"

Fowler was directing his attention the use of the apostrophe here. But all his example (except "subpoena") are I think nouns that are not recognized verbs
(I wistaria, you wistaria, he/she/it wistarias? I don't think so.)

The meaning in "the misnomered German Democratic Republic" is consistent with Fowler in that it was a misnomer to refer to the GDR as either being "Democratic" or a "Republic"
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Postby Stargzer » Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:50 pm

Slava wrote:
Stargzer wrote:That's the great thing about the English Language: you can verb any noun you want, and noun any verb, too!

:-Þ
You can stick your wingding out, too!


Actually, it's not a wingding; it's a capital thorn.

Thorn "... is a letter in the Old English, Old Norse, and Icelandic alphabets, as well as some dialects of Middle English. It was also used in medieval Scandinavia, but was later replaced with the digraph th."

Eth "... is a letter used in Old English, Icelandic, Faroese (in which it is called edd), and Elfdalian. It was also used in Scandinavia during the Middle Ages, but was subsequently replaced with dh and later d.

To type these characters using the Numeric Keypad, hold down the ALT key and press the numbers shown below on the Numeric Keypad; it doesn't work with the numbers at the top of the keyboard.

For Thorn, use ALT-0222 for upper case (Þ) and ALT-0254 for lower case (þ). For Eth, use ALT-0208 for upper case (Ð) and ALT-0240 for lower case (ð).

On a laptop without a numeric keypad, you'll have to put Num Lock on and hold down the ALT key plus the Function key that activates the numeric keys on the front of some of the letter keys on the right side of the keyboard. I don't know which keys they are at the moment because my laptop is big enough for a full numeric keypad (one reason I chose it). However, they are usually printed in blue on the front of the keys or else printed smaller than the letter on the top of the keys.

This is also how I type other selected characters such as ç (ALT-0231), è (ALT-0232) and é (ALT-0233).

As a reminder, you can click on the "More Emoticons and Accented Characters" link under the Emoticons in the edit window to open a window with a large assortment of accented characters as well as the Thorn and Eth in both upper and lower case. Click where you want to insert the character, then click the character you want to insert.
Regards//Larry

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