The Road Less Travelled By (was: Re: Verb-classifiers and preverbs)
|From:||Douglas Koller <laokou@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, May 3, 2008, 14:13|
From: Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
> Quoting Carl Banks <conlang@...>:
> > I think a better example than "ish" is "ism". As in, "I will not
> > tolerate racism, sexism, ageism, or any other isms".
> > Of course what really proves "ism" is a word is it has started serving
> > as the root for other words: words such as "ismism", the belief in
> > (over)emphasizing isms.
> There's also "istic" as an adjective meaning bigoted or prejudiced.
Mind you, doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but I've never heard this usage. And it
doesn't work for me anyway, because the above isms only have "-ist" for their
adj. and n. counterparts: racist, sexist, ageist. There is no "racistic",
"sexistic", or "ageistic", and if there were, they'd carry for me an extra
semantic component I can't put my finger on (wait, (on the reread) maybe
something like "seemingly racist"). And while "ist" an sich as an adj. might be
fun ("Archie Bunker is just so *ist*!"), I doubt it'll fly in Peoria.
If "istic" is out there, I suspect it's because the analogous usage went along the lines of:
jingoism --> jingoistic (adj.) --> jingoist (n.)
chauvinism --> chauvinistic --> chauvinist
rather than the, to me, more correct:
communism --> communist (adj. / n.) ("communistic" apparently exists but "?")
defeatism --> defeatist
Reminds me of "empathy", which for most people has gone the way of:
sympathy --> sympathetic
telepathy --> telepathic ("telepathetic" : someone who spends too much time on 900 numbers?)
One almost never hears (the, to me, more correct) "empathic"; it's usually
"empathetic" (probably because "sympathy" and "empathy" are kindred
sentiments). With sci-fi materials, however, empathy heads back to the
telepathy analogy, proffering "telepaths" and "empaths". I haven't heard of
"sympaths" yet (strangers who arrive unannounced at funerals bearing casseroles
or baked goods?)
Anyway, "empathetic" makes me cringe. It's a losing battle, I know; prescriptivist moi
(not prescriptivistic) gave up on this one *long* ago.
Suffering in silence,