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SECTION VI. BEGINNINGS AND CAUSES OF COMBINATION

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While I have little doubt that these combinations of special meaning were at the outset largely figurative, as I have already stated, I feel s. equally certain that the growth of the tendency to form them is due in great measure to four quite different causes. In many instances a desire to strengthen or emphasize the idea expressed by a simple verb causes the speaker to add such a particle as out or up, as, for example, in the expressions stretch out, pay up, etc. Then, again, the desire to vary the expression of an idea leads to the combination of other verbs of similar meaning with the same particle. Several combinations having similar meanings develop, and after these have come to be regarded as more or less of a category, new combinations are formed by analogy, or as one might term it, by a sort of categorical influence. So for add up one may say count up, figure up, foot up, reckon up or sum up; for hand over it is possible to substitute fork over, pass over or pony over

for doctor up, dope up or dose up; for link up, connect up or join up; for hoard up, lay up, save up or treasure up. Again, as I have suggested above, a desire for a certain rhythmic effect in our speech seems to be responsible for the introduction of a particle of different stress after a monosyllabic verb. How far this is true it is difficult to determine, but in certain combinations such as slow up, hush up, lead off, look out, it would seem that the particle is added to make of the verb a sort of trochee, And, finally, mere linguistic laziness seems to be responsible for the popularity of many of these combinations. It is so much easier to combine a dozen or fifteen well-known prepositional-adverbs with the simpler and more familiar verbs than it is to keep in mind a special polysyllabic verb for each different concept. There is little doubt which, of the following pairs of verbs, the average speaker would choose:

bear out. .... corroborate keep on............ continue
bring about...... effect

look over.

examine
bring on.. precipitate make out........comprehend
bring up-

tre
rear

put out..

extinguish furnish, equip use up...

exhaust find out.. discover

watch out.. beware Much of the difference, indeed, between the speech of the majority of those who pretend to be fairly well educated and of the few who take a real pride in the precision and dignity of their English lies in the use, on

1.

fit up.....

the one hand, of the verb-adverb combination and, on the other, of the less common but more exact synonym.

Furthermore, to go one step farther, one can generally distinguish be. tween the average man of fairly good education and the indifferent user of English by his choice in such a list as the following:

ball up...

hold up

let on.

do up.

.... confuse

get on.. prosper
blow in. .spend

hang out.. ... reside
call down..
censure, rebuke

rob
call off............ cancel

jack up....... reprove
catch on .........

.... comprehend jolly up- encourage
chip in....
.... contribute

knock off.

cease work
cough up- pay

let down. relax
dig in.
apply oneself

pretend
exhaust

make out..

...... understand
fizzle out.
fail

muddle up...... confuse
fix up.............. improve, furnish pull out......... depart

A hasty survey of the 826 combinations specially examined shows at least 110 which could at times be replaced to advantage by more highly specialized verbs. And yet that by no means implies that so large a proportion of our verb-adverb combinations could be eliminated since many of them are possessed of a variety of meanings, as already noticed. No doubt any one who examines thoughtfully the lists of pairs which I have just given will at times feel inclined to question the pair just because the meaning of the combination must often be expressed by some other simple verb than the one which stands opposite it in the list.

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SECTION VII. RESULTS OF THE INCREASE IN THE

NUMBER OF COMBINATIONS

The ever-increasing tendency to utilize the verb-adverb combination 'is resulting in at least three very important changes in the character of the English vocabulary. In the first place, an inspection of the articles in

. Webster's New International Dictionary which treat of our most common verbs of native origin such as back, blow, break, bring, call, come, fall, get, give, go, hold, lay, let, make, put, run, set, take, turn and work, will reveal an amazing wealth of meanings and uses in combination. And it must be borne in mind that no dictionary has been able to record all the variety of colloquial and slang adaptations of the combinations. In the list of combinations and meanings which I have compiled from recent dictionaries and various books illustrating modern colloquial English, the twenty verbs! above-named enter into 155 different combinations with at least 600 fairly distinct significations or uses.

On the average each of these verbs is combined with seven or eight out of the sixteen particles under consideration. Get, as might be expected, leads with fourteen such combinations, viz., get about, get across, get at, get by, get down, get in, get off, get on, get on with, get round, get thru, get thru with, get to and get up. Go is next with thirteen combinations, come and put each with twelve, lay and take each with nine, fall, run, turn with eight, and the rest with fewer.

These combinations, moreover, are susceptible of an amazing number of uses and phases of meaning. Take leads with about sixty-four, put comes next with sixty-three, go has sixty-one, then comes get with fortyseven, turn with forty-one, lay with forty, set with thirty-seven, run with thirty-four, make with thirty-two, fall with thirty, and the others of the list with fewer.

The range of meaning and the variety of uses to be found in special combinations are at times remarkable. Make up is capable of at least sixteen, while put out, take up and set up show fifteen apiece, get up twelve, take in and turn out eleven each, go thru and put up, ten, etc.

For example, make up may mean, according to Webster's Dictionary: 1. To build or construct. Obsol.

2. To compose, to constitute. “The twenty-five states . . . which make up the German Empire.”-Four Years, 35.

3. To compose, draw up or compile. "Making up a list of names." Sixes and Sevens, 106.

• These figures are approximate, of course.

4. To invent or concoct. “Make me up a romantic name,” or “Make up a story.”

5. To form into; to wrap or to fasten up, as, to make up a parcel.

6. To form by an assembling or arranging of parts. “A nigger only makes up the feather-bed.”H. Finn, 247.

7. To prepare; arrange; adjust; as, to make up accounts; also, to distort the features; as, to make up a face.

8. Print. To arrange set type (in pages, columns, etc.) for printing.

9. To complete; to fill or close up; to bring up to, as, a dollar is wanted to make up the requisite sum.

10. To compensate for; to make good ;'to atone (for).
11. To dress, paint, etc., for a part, as one to be acted on the stage.
12. To reconcile; to become reconciled, or friendly.
13. To settle or arrange mentally; to decide. To make up one's mind.

14. To advance or go (to or into); as, a suspicious boat made up to us.

15. To pay addresses (to); to make love (to). Dial. or Slang.
16. To get into a condition for marketing ; said of an animal.

If one considers the use of out in such combinations as bleach out, blot out, cut out, fizzle out, or the perfective up in mix up, muss up, scrub up, sober up, etc., he can not fail to appreciate the fact that the number of these combinations is increasing rapidly.

A second result of this growing tendency to combine is the increase of synonymous or nearly synonymous combinations. In a number of cases usage has not yet fixed upon any one phrase, and so it is possible to combine a verb with one of two or more adverbs to produce the same general effect. I say 'general effect' because it must be admitted that in most cases one feels that a slight difference in meaning is developing. A rather interesting example of this tendency to differentiate is shown in a statement in Oman's England before the Norman Conquest, p. 489: "Thanks be to God, the army had not utterly broken down the English nation," writes the chronicler at this moment. “Instead it had been itself broken up." Perhaps in the case of back down or up, and burn down or up, the difference is ordinarily negligible. But if broken down and broken up are used to describe an individual, the implication differs very decidedly. One who is badly broken down is losing his power of resistance, bodily or mentally, whereas one who is all broken up over something is in great sorrow, or is grieving. To buy in and buy up mean, in a general way, the same, but usually suggest in themselves quite different conditions of purchase. One may buy in (or bid in) articles of his own which are being offered for sale at auction, whereas to buy up implies a deliberate effort to purchase all available property of a certain kind. Roads may dry off or dry up, but a talkative person can only be told to dry up. In a class with the above examples are, also:

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brush out or up

follow out or up
close down or up

freese over or up
cloud over or up give in or up
cool down or off

heal over or up
die off or out

hunt up or out eat down or up

lock in or up shut down or up

slow down or up speak out or up

study out or up talk out or up

tog out or up It must be reiterated, however, that while these combinations may be used interchangeably under certain circumstances, they can not be so used under all conditions. One can let an engine cool down or off, but when these phrases are applied to a human being, a very nice distinction is felt. A person cools off if he has become physically warm, but he cools down if mentally 'heated up' or aroused. The one phrase is literal, the other is figurative.

The context determines, generally, whether one can use the different particles interchangeably or use only one of them. One can clean out or clean up a room, altho these phrases are synonymous only in a very general way, for out has a certain directional force which suggests the removal of debris or unnecessary articles, while up lends to the combination a perfective force.

In other words, the prepositional-adverb very seldom loses its adverbial personality so completely that it makes no difference in the use of the combination. Such a state of indifference is perhaps most nearly attained in such combinations as give in or give up (intrans.), slow down or slow up, speak out or speak up, talk out or talk up.

The third, and very marked, change which the multiplication of the verb-adverb combinations has been effecting in the English vocabulary is the one which offers most material for discussion. For in the gradualof late rather rapid-increase in the use of these combinations, a large number of simple verbs of more highly specialized meaning are being crowded out of general use. Perhaps this can be most definitely illustrated by turning again to the first ten of the twenty verbs already studied.10 Some of the most obvious substitutions in ordinary usage are:

10 See page 35 ff.

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