ice show

A footnote to yesterday’s posting “DISNEY ON ICE”, which was about (among other things) ice shows, in the sense ‘shows on ice, entertainment productions primarily performed by ice skaters’. The N + N compound ice show is then a location compound, conveying that the referent of N2 is located with respect to the referent of N1, as being in or on it. So now a few words about the (many) interpretations of compounds.

From my 9/25/14 posting “hedgehogs”:

At least historically, [the compound hedgehog] is not subsective (this creature is not a hog), but resembloid (it is like a hog, in its appearance). And the modifying N1 denotes a (characteristic) location for the creature, location compounds being a common semantic subtype of N + N compounds.

In that posting, the conventional interpretation of hedgehog as a location compound is contrasted with another potential, but decidedly unconventional, interpretation ‘someone / something  that hogs hedges’ — with a minor pattern of interpretation as object + verb, as in lifeguard, chimney sweep, and wienie roast. Giggles ensue.

Other interpretations of ice show. A persistent theme of this blog is that compounds are potentially interpretable in a large number of ways; that this massive (potential) ambiguity is a consequence of the very simple form of compounds, lacking indications of the semantic relations between the parts; so that the (very handy) brevity of compounds comes at the cost of clarity.

Consider ice show. It could refer to an exhibition of ice sculptures — similar to flower show and (more complicatedly) to Warhol show. It could refer to a performance by ice creatures, and no doubt to many other things. That’s the way N + N compounds are.

More location compounds. From various sources, a few more compounds conveying that N2 is located in, on, or at N1:

garden party; foot note, foothill, foot fungus; country club; head cold

One Response to “ice show”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    I have a somewhat vague memory of a Pogo strip in which some of the characters disturb a bear in a cave where they were expecting a groundhog (my guess is that the strip was published on or around February 2), and somebody remarks “Well, he sure hogs a lot of ground”.

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