Please stop

In my posting on my inventory of two-part back-formed verbs, I tried to say clearly but politely that I was not proposing to create a complete inventory of the things, but only to give a representative sample of them. This has not stopped people from sending me more examples of this very common phenomenon, with the result that I’ve had an hour a day or so consumed by adding these examples. I’m beginning to feel hunted.

(I do welcome more examples of phenomena that I have few sightings of, but 2-p b-f verbs are not such a case.)

Please stop sending me more cases, even if you love them.

If anyone wants to maintain something like a complete inventory, I’m happy to share my files (not just the verb list, but information about sources and the like). And Ben Zimmer notes that you can find a whole pile of examples (I hate to think how many) by doing an advanced search in the OED on “back-formation”.

One Response to “Please stop”

  1. xkcd back-formation « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] back-formed verbs are incredibly common (see here and here). Some sightings just since September: speed-date, carbon-date, catwalk ‘perform the […]

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