Monday, September 08, 2008

Degrammaticalization watch

We've dealt with degrammaticalization before (like here). It's the process where grammatical material, like prefixes and suffixes gets freed from morphologically 'bound' status and become free words, or something closer to it. Adjectival ish is an example — all the young folks are doing that one. So, the headline to Paul Krugman's NYT piece this morning:
The Power of De
He's mostly cutting loose the de- of deflation (with the immediate contrast to inflation), along with words in the article like depression and so on. But it's got nice connections to good old duh and newer Homeric doh! too.

But it's apparently not too transparent: One of the comments up is this:
Umm what is "de"?

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