Archive for the ‘Conversion’ Category

Dave Blazek

July 26, 2015

Another cartoonist new to this blog (like Ken Krimstein, recently posted on). The Loose Change cartoon by Blazek below (from 2010) came to me from the Grammarly Facebook page via a friend:

(#1)

Pin the Apostrophe on the Word.

There’s a rich vein of cartoons mocking English teachers for their purported inclination to focus on minutiae.

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“beat a urine”

July 17, 2015

At first glance this looks like word salad, and things aren’t helped much if I tell you that it’s a VP, that it’s attested, and that it wasn’t an inadvertent error. Context, we need context.

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Disruptive conversation

July 8, 2015

From Wondermark on 9/9/14:

(#1)

From blogger Tegiminis (“Game critic, writer, big gay robot” in Seattle WA) on the site Simplikation (“Heaps of words on games, culture, and media in general”) on 11/20/14: “Why Sealioning Is Bad”:

Chances are you’ve seen this comic by David Malki if you frequent Twitter at all these days. It even coined a new verb – “sealioning” – to describe the act of jumping into a discussion with demands for evidence and answers to questions.

But why is it an awful thing to do? Why do people react so negatively to a request for evidence? Surely a reasoned, rational person would acquiesce to such a statement!

Well, no.

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nutmeg, the verb

June 25, 2015

From Steve Anderson a few days ago, this cute story (by Seth Rosenthal on June 20th) from the world of basketball, on player Boogie Cousins:

Hero child nutmegs DeMarcus Cousins, then scores in his face

This is Boogie’s “DeMarcus Cousins Elite Skills Camp,” and it’s the typical session in which campers get to attempt scoring on the 7′ basketball man. Cousins obviously isn’t trying very hard to start the exchange, but then the kid successfully puts the ball through his legs and Cousins spins around with what looks to me like a genuine effort to block the reverse finish … but it’s got juuuust the right arc to soar over his fingers and drop in! And the crowd goes wild!

Video in the story. Still shot of the aftermath:

  (#1)

Ah, the verb nutmeg.

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Easy verbings

June 12, 2015

Two cases of the verbing of composite nominals that have recently come past me:

Adj + N free ride > to free-ride  (1)

N + N fireside chat > to fireside chat  (2)

Now, verbing is all over the place, but these two are especially easy, because the head N of the source composite (bold-faced above) is in fact the nouning of a corresponding V (to ride > a ride; to chat > a chat), so that the verb is in a sense instantly available.

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Why are they pets?

May 25, 2015

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

(Note the title: “Linguistics 101”.)

For the people:

We call them pets because we pet them.

For the cats:

We call them feeds because they feed us.

The two cases of nouning aren’t parallel, but reversed — in a sense, chiastic.

May 26th. Note of etymological truth, which I playfully omitted in the original posting. This is a cute story for pet, but it’s etymologically backwards. The noun came first, for ‘indulged child’, then for ‘animal companion’, and then the verb was derived from the noun, meaning something on the order of ‘to treat like a pet’, specifically ‘to stroke’.

Specialists in International

April 7, 2015

Slogan on the side of a DHL truck in Palo Alto:

DHL — YOUR SPECIALISTS IN INTERNATIONAL SINCE 1969

The adjective international is serving as a noun here, conveying something like ‘international shipping’ or ‘international mail’ or ‘international delivery’. Informally, this is “nouning by truncation”, but the implicit noun head isn’t uniquely identifiable.

Two pieces of background here: on “nouning by truncation” and on the DHL company and its slogans.

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to Birkenstock

March 21, 2015

It seems to be Verbing Day; maybe it has to do with the vernal equinox, which was yesterday. Earlier: to glowstick. And now: to Birkenstock, in a 3/23 New Yorker piece by Rebecca Mead, “Sole Cycle: The homely Birkenstock gets a fashion makeover”, about sandals. Shearling-lined Birkenstocks:

From p. 48 of the piece:

[David Kahan, who runs Birkenstock’s American division] explained that the boots and shoes arriving in stores this fall would still be recognizable as Birkenstocks but would capitalize on other trends in the marketplace. “I use ‘Birkenstock’ as a verb,” he said. “We did a sneaker bottom for spring — sneakers are a hot trend in the market, so we Birkenstocked it. We Birkenstocked Doc Martens; we Birkenstocked a motorcycle boot.” There was even a Birkenstocked Ugg: a fur-lined bootie with a ridged sneaker bottom and two sandal-like leather straps across the foot.

to glowstick

March 21, 2015

A scene in an old Criminal Minds show, caught this morning on tv: college kids on spring break on South Padre Island, dancing with glow sticks:

A glow stick is a self-contained, short-term light-source. It consists of a translucent plastic tube containing isolated substances that, when combined, make light through chemiluminescence, so it does not require an external energy source. The light cannot be turned off, and can be used only once. Glow sticks are often used for recreation, but may also be relied upon for light during military, police, fire, or EMS operations. (Wikipedia link)

The compound glow stick (or glowstick) has been verbed, with a full range of uses for the verb. (more…)

More on the sports interview

March 9, 2015

In a comment on a Bizarro cartoon on the vacuity of sports interviews (#2 here), Stan Carey supplies a fine VectorBelly strip on the subject:

(The verbing sports is entertaining.)

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