• Member Since 1st Sep, 2015
  • offline last seen Apr 9th, 2017

The Minister of Scones


"You can use that cupboard over there labelled 'Good French Things'. It's empty."

More Blog Posts41

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Jan
16th
2017

Linguistic Puzzlement · 5:03pm Jan 16th, 2017

N.b.: This title should not be confused with linguistic Puzzlemint. No kidding.

'Tumbledown' is an odd word, isn't it? I don't mean I don't like it - it's both pleasant and useful - but that it has an unusual structure: a compound made of a verb, followed by an preposition. I've tried, but I can't for the life of me think of another such. A man can't describe himself as 'pacearound', nor can a dog be referred to as being 'rollover'. Can anyone else come up with one; one that actually exists, I mean? I can offer a new fridge, a top-of-the-range motor car and a trip in NASA's new shuttle to the moon with £1,000,000 spending money and a complimentary bottle of champange, and other handsome prizes.

Comments ( 10 )

Does 'uplift' count?

A short google might bring you some words like: crackdown, feedback, takeover, and checkout.

4384941 Ah, but 'uplift' is a verb, and the others are all nouns. I should have specified that I was looking for adjectives of that form. Such nouns are common enough, usually formed from a verb whose meaning is modified by a preposition. All too often, people foolishily use the nouns where the original verb is meant, as "We intend to crackdown on biscuit thefts in the area;" this should be 'crack down'.
A less common, and often amusing, error, is to confuse this form of verb with another, in which a compound is formed by placing the verb after the preposition. I once took swimming lessons with a group of children who would repeatedly claim that someone had taken them over, rather than overtaken them. I came across a bizarre variant of this when trying to produce a video with a group of teenagers who repeatedly referred to the voiceover as 'The Overvoice', which sounds like the Big-Brother-esque leader of a dystopia, who speaks to his subjects through a tannoy system and never appears in public.

4384970 I'm bigger, I'm better, and I'm back! Granted, the 'bigger' stems from eating too much chocolate over Christmas, the 'better' refers to my skill at playing Kingdom Hearts, and the 'back' is... actually, no, that one's pretty much on the money. Your new profile picture is adorable, bah the waay.

4384977
I admit I'm less familiar with the terms 'preposition' and 'adjective'.

That does make it more difficult though, even if you discount the time taken to learn. :P

A less common, and often amusing, error, is to confuse this form of verb with another

That'd well go into the same amusing territory as ambiguous phrasings:

"I saw Table Mountain flying over Cape Town."
(I don't know why, but when I think back to my highschool English classes this is classified as an 'error'. This specific example pops up when I try to remember comma-splices. :rainbowderp:)

The Overvoice', which sounds like the Big-Brother-esque leader of a dystopia, who speaks to his subjects through a tannoy system and never appears in public.

Heh. It certainly does. That'd work as a title for such a story as well.

4384979
Welcome back~ I recently started following you during what I presume to be the away-times.

4385031 Not forgetting headlines like
Oil-slick Talks

4385047
XD

But newspapers are always like that, sometimes all the way through.

Odd you mention "rollover" without "minutes." I can also think of "trickle-down economics," "blowout sale," "the Comeback Kid," and probably a couple others (of, I admit, varying quality) in a few minutes.

4426654 Ah, those are good, but I think 'blowout' and 'comeback' are just nouns being shoehorned into adjectival positions. They certainly existed as nouns before they did as adjectives, and tumbledown can't be used as a noun at all. I'm still searching.

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