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Re: baby Ford

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  • melvyn.geo
    ... and interesting discussion group. I m sure it s going to be. :-} ... mentioned [snip] pre-war baby yields four pages of results with ... OK you ve caught
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 2, 2004
      > Point well taken, Melvyn. I can see this is going to be a lively
      and interesting discussion group.

      I'm sure it's going to be. :-}

      > "Pre-war baby" is a fairly common phrase with the meaning I
      mentioned [snip] "pre-war baby" yields four pages of results with
      > the meaning I pointed out.

      OK you've caught me in a nit-picky mood. :-)

      I make it a mere 30 hits. And how many of them include "pre-war
      baby" as an adjectival phrase for a tangible inanimate object (where
      Baby is not capitalized to show it collocates with the subsequent
      capitalized noun)? Zero. I mean a pre-war baby hoover or pre-war
      baby Singer sewing machine in your sense is not entirely beyond the
      bounds of possibility in some styles but such usage strikes me as
      rather odd and unlikely, especially in this case where 'baby Ford'
      is such a well-established phrase in some circles that it serves as
      a name for a modern band.

      I suppose that somebody could be trying to play some kind of
      subliminal 'word association football' by fusing two different
      collocations, but considering the relative rarity of 'pre-war baby'
      mentioned above, I find this again to be rather unlikely and in any
      case I would argue that the diminutive/expressive effect of 'baby'
      still has to be accounted for in translation.

      BTW I believe the Model Y was meant to be primarily for the European
      market and I notice that this usage of 'Baby Ford' does seem to crop
      up more in texts from mainland Europe (and Ireland - note Henry Ford
      set up shop early in Ireland) than those from the US. I once
      translated the first draft of a 400+ page book from the US on the
      life and times of Henry Ford and there was no mention there of
      a 'baby Ford' car, so maybe this American/European thing partly
      explains our different constructions.

      BTW ah sho uz heyull appreshate yuh lessuns in hah tuh speyk
      Alabamuh English. Ham ah deuin? Hope ahm not strayin into "oh
      Suzanna oh don't you cry for me" tertuhry. :-)

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