Monday, 5 April 2021

Grammar: Howlers 20


Frequently, writers or speakers add an extra "...er" to a word.

masterhead
Also known as the "flannel panel", the list of staff and their roles at the front of a magazine is known as the "masthead". In nautical terms, it means "the top of the mast".

forebearers: Your forebears are your forefathers, says the Free Dictionary, deriving the word from "before-be-ers", people who existed before. It also claims that "forebearers may be a word whose time has come". I'm not convinced on either count.

It beggars the question: If you assume that what you're trying to prove has already been proved, you're "begging the question". If you propose something very unlikely, your blue-skies ideas may "beggar belief".

heart-rendering: A tragic scene may be "heart-rending". To rend is to tear, and if you tear something you may leave a rent.

“If there is life hereafter, trees will render asunder my tomb!" These are the words of atheist, Lady Anne Grimston. 200 years later, one of Britain's largest trees grows from the heart of her grave at Tewin's St Peter's church. (@GardenSquareSC) There are many "asunders" in the King James Version of the Bible (cut asunder, put asunder, drive asunder, cleave asunder, break asunder). The veil of the Temple was "rent in twain", and the High Priest "rent his garments".

poker bonnet:
The head-coverings with a bag at the back were known as "poke bonnets". (Don’t buy a pig in a poke – you may be sold a pup.)



duster coat: Originally a "dust coat" – a long coat that kept the dust of the roads off your clothes as you drove in an open car.

roller neck: In a roll-necked garment, the collar forms a roll.

gallery kitchen: The cramped rooms in which you can do nothing but cook are modelled on a ship's galley.

clapperboard: A clapperboard marks filmed "takes". The planks on the outside of an old cottage form clapboard.

unchartered: Before him, the Red Sea was unchartered territory. (Jewish Chronicle) An area that hasn't been mapped and appears on no chart is "uncharted". Charters are laws – think of Magna Carta.

I've even seen "melterdown".


And sometimes we lose the "ed" when we use a past participle as an adjective:


The painting of a Montmartre street has been behind close doors for than 100 years. (BBC)

A whitewash version of history. (Professor Kim Wagner)

Pasteurized process American cheese.

I’m just an old-fashion girl.


Bias opinion, close-minded, close-shop, stain-glass, cut and dry, stripe pants, crop jeans, side-button jeans, fine tooth comb, corn beef, polo neck jersey, puff sleeves, stripe linen sweater.

More here, and links to the rest.


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