Annals of back-formation

From Jon Lighter on ADS-L, this report:

CNN tells of a hockey player who “loves to hard-hit.”

That’s a back-formation from the expressions hard-hitting and/or hard-hitter — synthetic compounds of a type I don’t think I’ve written about here (with an adverb incorporated into the compound, rather than a noun, as is usually the case).

I haven’t found the CNN quotation on-line, and searches for other examples of a verb hard-hit run up against the use of hard-hit as a modifier (with PSP hit), as in

Wintry storm brings new woe to hard-hit Northeast (link)

Can Hard-Hit States Reinvent Themselves? (link)



Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: