I hope to be forgiven if I begin with my usual quibbling again, but mathematically trained as I am, I generally think in terms of counter-examples to universal propositions of the type «ecause we simply don't use the verb [shoe] any more outside reference to horses». Googling the phrase «well shod», I found that while most of the approximately 295000 sites listed did indeed seem to deal with horses, there were several that used the phrase to refer to people. Thus, e g, an article in Utah's pride, the Deseret News, on a retired shoemaker, and one in the equally proud (I presume) Global Finance on the former (pre David Kelly suicide) governor of the BBC. So like Katy, I believe that people still can be shod, even if the footwear is not nailed to their feet....Dr. Goodword wrote: Look out for multifuncionality in English. English is losing affixes (-er, -est, -ed) at quite a clip, but not grammatical functions. The result is that the remaining affixes take on those functions left by affixes that have disappeared in addition to their traditional ones.
Why not white-shod? Because we simply don't use the verb any more outside reference to horses. We wouldn't say, "After he shod himself" rather than "after he put his shoes on." This is a question of usage rather than grammar.
Otherwise, Dr Goodward's point on the decline of affixes in English is well-taken ; I think we have all noticed that words that have the form of nouns are used to modify other nouns, in contrast to what we learned in school. Dr Goodword's examples were «double-barrel shotgun» and «fruit jello». The interesting thing is what happens if these adjectives are placed in predicate position ; can one say that «the shotgun is double-barrel» or that «the jello is fruit» ? I shouldn't wish to do so (but must admit that I find it easier to accept the first example than the second). But what about «low-calorie diet» ? I don't have great problems with «the diet is low-calorie», although I might want to lodge where hospitality (and waistlines) are more ample. ...
But even if the use of affixes is declining, some of these particles are still active ; consider the letter I received this morning from one of Dr Goodword's many competitors :
Here is the word of the day from WordQuery.com:
n a stone or slab used to pave an area such as a patio
In my day that object would not have been called a «paver», but a «paving stone». So the «-er» transformation, at least, seems to be alive and well....