New Year’s 2pbfv crop

Two items on ADS-L with two-part back-formed verbs. One has old friends recently in the news, the other has a verb new to my files, but similar to some I’ve collected.

open-carry and concealed-carry. On the 1st, Larry Horn noted that thanks to a new open-carry law (for guns) in Texas,

The verbs “to open-carry” and “to conceal-carry” are having their day in the sun (and in the shadows)

In the sun, in the open, for the first; in the shadows, concealed, for the second.


I posted about these in “A batch of back-formations’ on 11/4/12 (open carry as is, concealed carry in concealed carry permit); they’re in my index of examples of 2-part back-formed Vs as #104.

A development I didn’t notice there was the compound verb with t/d deletion in concealed, giving conceal carry, as on this license plate:


So-called t/d deletion, as in drop ceiling, box set, (world-)renown X, and tons of others, has been the subject of a large number of postings on Language Log and this blog.

music-direct. On the 2nd, Jon Lighter posted on ADS-L:

A composer friend of mine advises me that he’s about to “music-direct” the forthcoming Broadway singin’ and dancin’ version of “American Psycho.”

That is, Jon’s friend is going to be the music director for the production, do the music direction for it, where music director is  an agent synthetic compound (‘director for the music’) and music direction is an abstract-nominal synthetic compound (‘direction of the music’). My files have a number of similar back-formations: for example, #136 with guest conduct, back-formed from the agent synthetic compound guest conductor.

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