OT: Fun, was Re: First thoughts on Imperial
|From:||Doug Dee <amateurlinguist@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, July 19, 2003, 21:55|
In a message dated 7/17/2003 11:03:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
>Of course, there is in English a definite noun-adj slippery slope, which
>for instance "fun" slipped down in the twentieth century. (Obviously it
>varies by dialect, but roughly to my parents' generation "fun" is clearly a
>noun (and so "funner" is an abomination); for me "funner" is marginal; and
>for the generation younger than me fun has become an adjective and so
>"funner" is perfectly normal. But the very fact this change is perceptible
>requires two PsOS.
I'm not sure that it's accurate to say that "fun" was a noun and not an
adjective for people within, say, the last century. I think even people who reject
"funner" and "that was a fun party" accept "That party was fun", where "fun"
looks to me like a predicate adjective. Anything you might naturally
substitute for "fun" in that sentence is an adjective : "That party was
great/wonderful/exciting." OK, conceivably you could say "That party was excitement", with
a noun, but that's more than a bit peculiar.
Therefore, I think it's more accurate to say that "fun" was formerly a
defective adjective that couldn't be used attributively and had no comparative,
rather than to say that it was a noun and not an adjective.
(Of course, if your parents reject "That party was fun" then none of this