Geek Speak of the Week: Subwolf
- Red Rock West
- The Personal Phonecalls
- The Mental Bets (Ask me the story behind this sometime.)
- Stink Lines
- Montecello Squeak
- Space Yogurt (from today's news story that yogurt has been cultured with space bacteria)
New, Semi-irregular feature!
Geek Speak of the Week
Today's item: Conjugating "subwoofer" as a verb.
What a great language! I'm proud to be able to speak English when I realize the raw geek power that allows me to transform the geeky noun subwoofer (itself a verbal form) into the uber-geeky verb subwolf.
"Hey, Steve! Check this out! My valve-force tube array subwoofs down to 35 Hertz!"
Pretty neat, huh? Although the correct word for a single term adopting the form of a verb is “inflection", not “conjugation.” Conjugation applies to an entire lexeme of inflections.
--Bad English teachers! Be more precise!*
Thank you for allowing me to inflict my perspective of inflections upon you. As you genuflect, you’ll find reflecting on inflections infective, instructive and interconnectedly correct.
--With all Respect
*I know what you’re thinking: “But Mark, a lexeme is merely an abstract unit of morphological analysis. We learned metonymous conjugation, not synecdochic inflection in elementary school.”
Hehe, you are suffering from an ontological schism from several decades ago, my provincianal friend.
For many years, English speakers have agreed that a lexeme roughly corresponds to a set of words that are different forms of ‘the same word’. For example, stink, stank, stunk, for you Dr. Seuss fans.
The argument is analogous to contemporary statisticians arguing over “New Math” instead of arguing over decimal-place precision. All this "lexeme" argle-bargle is similarly a didactic debate several decades past its prime. Best leave it to socialists like Noam Chomsky who are more interested in divesting language of comparison and meaning.
You and I do not have the time or money to afford a serious debate transformational grammar, my friend. Indeed, can a deconstructivist concept--by definition—be “seriously” debated?
If only my keyboard could make that double-s character!
Dank für Messwert (Schauen? Sehen?) on this blog!
I need to work on my vocabulary!