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The English language is famous for a large number of words that humorously convey the idea of ​​drunkenness—so-called drunken names like “pish,” “hammer” or “lost.” British comedian Michael McIntyre even argued in a comedy routine that posh people can use any word to mean “drunk” in English, such as, “I was totally gay” or “I was totally I’m going to park the car.” With so many possibilities, how can people understand new trends?

Two German linguists, Prof. Dr. Christina Sánchez-Stockhammer (Kemenitz University of Technology) and Prof. Dr. Peter Uhrig (FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg & ScaDS.AI Dresden/Leipzig) took Michael McIntyre’s claim seriously and tested it. .

“We were curious to see if synonyms for ‘drunk’ are used in similar contexts,” explains Sanchez-Stockhammer. If this were the case, the formation of new words could automatically inherit the meaning ‘drunken’ from the context.

The study was recently published Yearbook of the German Academic Linguistics Association.

“We found that ‘drunk’ occurs mainly in ‘too/so/very drunk’ combinations, but unexpectedly not with the type of verbs used by Michael McIntyre,” explains Uhrig. . In contrast, addiction words ending in ad (e.g., “blasted” and “loaded”) preferably have the expected intensities “completely” or “completely” (e.g., “completely loaded”).

As expected, the combination “be” + intensifying adverb + word ending in -ed is commonly used to refer to drunkenness, but is often not enough to indicate that the language is used. How do learners understand new vocabulary? Sanchez-Stockhammer and Uhrig, therefore, provide an additional explanation.

By the time native speakers of English reach adulthood, they have likely experienced so many different words ending in -ed, meaning “drunk,” that they ended up in -ed (e.g., “pyjamaed”). Allows interpretation of words of unknown meaning occurring in “nunk”. “In several contexts. A single appendix to the thesis lists 546 English synonyms for “drunken” compiled from various sources.

Although Can come with , drunkenness is usually discussed in English using a wide range of light-hearted linguistic means. “The comic effect of drunken puns often derives from their indirectness,” observes Sanchez-Stockhammer.

What makes McIntyre’s examples of “gazeboed” or “carparked” funny is that there is no clear connection between the base (e.g. “gazebo”) and the meaning “drunk”. Indirectness also exists in other forms of playful language, such as Cockney rhyming slang, which provides the model for English rhymes such as “Brahms” or “Schindler’s” (with both abbreviated “Brahms and Liszt” and “Schindler’s list,” rhyming target word “distressed”).

“The English language also indirectly conveys drunkenness by shortening ‘blind’ and ‘nicely’ to synonyms like ‘blind drunk’ and ‘nicely drunk.’ fits well with traditions,” says Sanchez-Stockhammer.

More information:
Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer et al., “I’m Totally and Totally Going to Get X-Aid.” addiction building, Yearbook of the German Academic Linguistics Association (2024). DOI: 10.1515/gcla-2023-0007

Reference: ‘I’m going to get completely and utterly X’d’: Can you really use an English word that means ‘drunk’? (2024, February 19) Retrieved February 19, 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2024-02-im-gonna-totally-utterly-xd.html

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