January 20, 2007

Sometimes a prefix is just a cigar

Barbara Partee wrote to suggest that Verlyn Klinkenborg's NYT Op-Ed essay "Post-", 1/20/2007, "would be nice to share". Since Barbara is one of the few living linguists to have a university named after her, I pay close attention to her suggestions. Klinkenborg's lede:

It may seem odd to celebrate a prefix. After all, it isn’t even a whole part of speech. It does for a word, visually, what a big cigar does for a small man.

And his ending:

The beautiful irony of it all is that there is nothing remotely post-political in being post-partisan. Even the most political candidates may come to think of post-partisanship as a necessary precursor to being pre-presidential.

Posted by Mark Liberman at January 20, 2007 07:22 AM