Odd group name
Replies: 43 - Last Post: Apr 25, 2012 7:57 AM Last Post By: iviehoff
Apr 21, 2012 5:08 AM
Or, more to the point, since "a religious" is a person, you can be a religious; you can't be a temporal.
This is simply inverted noun + adjective(s). Take away the noun Lords and you're left with meaninglessness. For religious in its noun sense (i.e. monks and nuns) no noun to modify is required, as in this passage I just googled up: The laity and religious saw how they could work full time in such a ministry. The diocesan clergy found they had more constraints, but could still support the idea and provide some help.
Apr 21, 2012 7:02 AM
I'll add that "The Lords Spiritual and Temporal" is like Attorneys General, Notaries Public, Poets Laureate, or Heirs Apparent. One of those oddball constructions where the modifier comes after the verb.
These area called postpositive adjectives (I didn't know that). It's the influence of Norman French, especially in law, politics, or religion.
The Grammarist Blog notes that:
There are a few English nouns that tend to take postpositive adjectives more often than usual. Things and matters are probably the biggest ones—for example, matters unknown, things innumerable.
The Grammarist also throws in time immemorial and words unspoken as set phrases with postpositive adjectives.
Apr 21, 2012 8:51 AM
Many thanks to nutrax for showing many other usages of that nature.
Apr 21, 2012 9:06 AM
Apr 21, 2012 9:46 AM
You succeeded in being foolish. Why anybody ever feels the need to post patent nonsense belied by every single dictionary of the English language is utterly beyond me. Do you not own a dictionary? I seriously suggest you consult one before attempting a "correction" of a usage others are familiar with, but you are not. The arrogance of ignorance never fails to astound.
And, as I pointed out in #2, the plural of religious is religious. Yes, there are words in English that have irregular plurals.
Apr 21, 2012 10:14 AM
20A quick search on Google Books finds a good number of religiouses; indeed, religious in any of these examples would be jarring:
"They all cut their hair, adopted the garb of religiouses, and taking earthen alms-bowls, set out for Vesali on foot . . ."
"But would the Archpriest's book be the sort of book transported or copied by friars or other religiouses?"
" . . . sentimental and Gothic romances in which virtuous and beautiful heroines are immured in convents by villainous religiouses." (Harold Bloom)
And the first OED citation is 1330.
Apr 21, 2012 1:01 PM
Apr 21, 2012 1:29 PM
I agree. "Religiouses" is very jarring to me in examples #2 and #3. In #1 it is less so, perhaps because more than one different kind of religious is implied.
In any event, it's not amazing that an alternative plural should crop up in Google Books. GBooks will also give you hits for "mooses" and "deers," although those are not typical plural forms.
Apr 21, 2012 1:46 PM
But in the compound noun lady vicar, the normal plural would be lady vicars, not ladies vicar nor ladies vicars.
If we are to parse women religious as a compound noun, it requires at least 2 unusual things to be true:
That religious is used as a noun; and that the normal rule on pluralising compound nouns is disapplied. If you are further arguing that religious in this phrase is in the plural, that is a third odd thing.
Whereas if we parse women religious as an inverted adjectival phrase, it requires only one unusual thing to be true, ie, that the adjectival phrase has been inverted.
I think Occam would take the latter approach.
Apr 21, 2012 3:12 PM
No, it isn't. Because, for example, "women doctors" is perfectly fine English, whereas "women doctor" makes no sense at all.
Did you not notice that in the phrase "women religious" the first word is "women", while in the phrase "lady vicars" the first word is "lady", and that "women" and "lady" are in fact not the same word?
Apr 21, 2012 5:21 PM
Apr 22, 2012 9:08 AM
Apr 22, 2012 9:21 AM
Apr 22, 2012 10:44 AM
28OK, this is definitely a thread-jack at this point, but I can't resist. From an interview in the Paris Review.
But for me the typewriter hasn’t even been invented yet, so how can I speak to this matter? I protest! A man who has never learned to type is not going to be able to add anything to this debate. As far as I’m concerned, computers have as much to do with literature as space travel, perhaps much less. I can only write with a ballpoint pen, with a Rolling Writer, they’re called, a black Rolling Writer on a lined yellow legal pad on a certain kind of clipboard. And then someone else types it.
And someone else edits?
No one edits. I edit. I refuse to be edited.
Do you revise much?
Sometimes, but not often.
(I got to this by rereading this marvelous debunking of Mistah Kurtz...erm, Bloom, in TNR last autumn.)
Apr 22, 2012 12:59 PM
William of Ockham (as it is also spelled) still likes the simple solution.
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