The *One Big Happy* in today’s feed:

Ruthie takes *square foot* to be Adj + N, so interpreted as ‘a foot that is square’; takes *foot* to denote the bodypart (rather than the unit of linear measure); and takes *square* to denote the shape of a square (rather than a square itself). In fact, *square foot* (in general, *square* M, where M denotes a unit of linear measure) is an idiomatic phrase denoting the area of a square that is one foot on each side (that is, as denoting the area of a *foot square*).

Now, whether human feet are round (or, more accurately, oval) or rectangular (that is to say, squarish) is a question open for discussion.

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This entry was posted on December 29, 2016 at 9:35 am and is filed under Linguistics in the comics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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