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main - intensifying adverb?

You have words - now what do you do with them?

Postby WonderingSpaniard » Fri Jun 17, 2005 5:52 am

She'll be right busy come lambing
I'll be right hungry come supper time.


I had never heard those expressions before... "Come" as a temporal connector!! Are they also very common?

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WS.
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Postby tcward » Fri Jun 17, 2005 6:59 am

WS, that's funny, it's so common I didn't even notice how unusual a role that was for come. :lol:

There's a famous Duke Ellington song, even, called Come Sunday. I tried to find an audio download but couldn't in the time I have now.

Here's a good read on Ellington if you care to read more about this important American composer.

-Tim
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Postby WonderingSpaniard » Fri Jun 17, 2005 11:42 am

Well, it's really a long time since I last was among native English speakers in a so-to-speak natural environment, but it astonishes me (depresses me?) not to have been aware of such expression. :( It does seem quite natural to me and indeed it must be since on both sides of the Atlantic you've offered promptly ready examples of it...

I had never heard of this Duke Ellington, I'll try to give a time to that link. ;-)

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Postby KatyBr » Fri Jun 17, 2005 2:28 pm

the usage of 'come' up here in the Northern US isn't as common.

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Postby anders » Fri Jun 17, 2005 2:48 pm

That "come" in "come rain, come shine" is a subjunctive comes natural to me.

In, for example, "come Friday", I wasn't certain how to interpret that "come" grammatically. But my dictionary labels it present subjunctive in those cases as well, and adds "fam."

My grammar, Svartvik, Sager: Engelsk universitetsgrammatik explains "come lunchtime" as "when lunchtime comes", without any mentioning of a subjunctive, under the heading "ellipsis". I prefer that explanation.
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Postby Apoclima » Fri Jun 17, 2005 7:36 pm

Perhaps a "vestigial" subjunctive!

"Come hell or high water" sounds more subjunctive, but I think "Come Thursday," etc. is the same form.

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Postby Flaminius » Sat Jun 18, 2005 8:20 am

Garzo wrote:My dear Spiff, what shape are the monitors on your spacecraft? I only ask as my father used to say that watching too much telly would main make my eyes square.

-- Garzo.


For those who are in incorrigible in habit of watching too much telly a workaround (not really a cure) would be to go to the nearest antique shop and buy a round telly from the 60s and 70s.

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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Jun 18, 2005 2:42 pm

Garzo wrote:... Thus, we have the difference between main angry and mainly angry. ...


Can one (perhaps only dialectally ?) be mainly main angry ?...

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Postby Garzo » Sat Jun 18, 2005 7:09 pm

...When the majority of one's anger is intense, but a minority is not as intense, one could be mainly main angry. However, I think anger that is mulled for such time as to deliver itself of such interpretation is likely to have become frustration with age.

-- Garzo.
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Postby WonderingSpaniard » Sun Jun 19, 2005 7:28 am

Apoclima wrote:Perhaps a "vestigial" subjunctive!

"Come hell or high water" sounds more subjunctive, but I think "Come Thursday," etc. is the same form.

Apo


Indeed, it sounds as if a pristine "when" or "if" was missing. Or maybe this is my own Romance-minded interpretation :?

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Postby M. Henri Day » Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:48 pm

tcward wrote:...
There's a famous Duke Ellington song, even, called Come Sunday....


Ah, Tim, but don't forget Billie Holliday singing Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen's great Come Rain or Come Shine. Now that's blues !...

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