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SpookyWriter
01-15-2007, 11:54 PM
Simple sentence:

The quadriplegic serial killer.

So was the serial killer a quadriplegic or only killed quadriplegic people?

pconsidine
01-16-2007, 12:22 AM
Sure would love to see how a quadruplegic serial killer kills his victims.

veinglory
01-16-2007, 12:49 AM
I think logic my trump grammar--unless there is an accomplice.

jsh
01-16-2007, 01:05 AM
I don't think the serial killing of quadriplegics has become sufficiently well defined to fit into the same category as, say, electrical engineer. I think The Quadriplegic Serial Killer is definitely a book about a guy literally with a rapier wit.

Rolling Thunder
01-16-2007, 01:09 AM
I don't think the serial killing of quadriplegics has become sufficiently well defined to fit into the same category as, say, electrical engineer. I think The Quadriplegic Serial Killer is definitely a book about a guy literally with a rapier wit.

But if you tossed him into a pool would you name him 'bob'?

jsh
01-16-2007, 01:19 AM
But if you tossed him into a pool would you name him 'bob'?
That's probably what pushed him over the edge, so to speak.

Kate Thornton
01-16-2007, 01:32 AM
Nahh, hot tub. Stew.

Carrie in PA
01-16-2007, 02:33 AM
Sure would love to see how a quadruplegic serial killer kills his victims.

Shooting poison darts through those little bamboo tubes. :D Of course, he'd need an assistant...

SpookyWriter
01-16-2007, 04:51 AM
Well you folks sure got me stumped now. :D Oh, but that's another story.

Siddow
01-16-2007, 04:55 AM
The quadriplegic serial killer.

Sorry, Spooky, but that is not a sentence. I will need more information. Let's start with a verb, shall we?

SpookyWriter
01-16-2007, 06:07 AM
Sorry, Spooky, but that is not a sentence. I will need more information. Let's start with a verb, shall we?Verb? Linking or singular? Isn't quadriplegic a verb and a noun? It's not like the quadriplegic could run or ran around the house. Right?

pconsidine
01-16-2007, 08:02 AM
Yes, but there's no such thing as "to quadriplegic" something, either.

PeeDee
01-16-2007, 10:35 AM
Yes, but there's no such thing as "to quadriplegic" something, either.

Give it to Annie Wilkes, she'll find a way.

SO would you throw the quadriplegic at victims, thus bludgeoning them to death? Woudl he give off a noxious odor, and THAT kills people?

Superman would look pretty funny if he were quadriplegic, though he'd get around okay.

That's the end of my quadriplegic free-association. Also, "quadriplegic" is a pain to type out.

Sohia Rose
01-16-2007, 10:54 AM
He/She could have poisoned his/her victims? :Shrug: You don't need strength or muscular ability for that.

blacbird
01-16-2007, 10:55 AM
Superman is quadriplegic, Pete. He masquerades in everyday life as a man named Stephen Hawking.

caw

PeeDee
01-16-2007, 10:57 AM
Superman is quadriplegic, Pete. He masquerades in everyday life as a man named Stephen Hawking.

caw

That can't be true. I like Superman.

That WOULD be cool, though.

LOIS: "THat building is going to collapse!"

SUPERHAWKING: This. Is. A. Job. For. Super. Man. Beep. Beep. And. Away.

Maryn
01-16-2007, 05:52 PM
To me, "serial killer" is a single concept, a two-word name for one individual. The adjective "quadriplegic" preceding it would describe the serial killer.

It's really no different than other descriptors preceding two-word concepts which identify the individual:

the quadriplegic serial killer
the brunette eye doctor
the female computer repairman
the tall Russian translator
the sunburned nail technician
the Indian teaching assistant

In fact, the more I think about this, the more wrong it seems to put whatever group the serial killer targets as a descriptor before the words "serial killer." Do any of these work?

the quadriplegic serial killer
the brunette serial killer
the female serial killer
the tall serial killer
the sunburned serial killer
the Indian serial killer

All of those seem to be further describing the serial killer, not his victims.

Maryn, sorry to take the original question so freakin' seriously

jsh
01-16-2007, 06:00 PM
To me, "serial killer" is a single concept, a two-word name for one individual. The adjective "quadriplegic" preceding it would describe the serial killer.

It's really no different than other descriptors preceding two-word concepts which identify the individual....
Yeah, like "electrical engineer." There are many well-established types of engineers. Maybe someday serial killers will become prolific enough and specialized enough to fit into the same pattern as engineeers, but I don't think they do today. (E.g., Russian translator doesn't imply the translator is necessarily a person from Russia.)

pconsidine
01-16-2007, 07:05 PM
But Maryn, even your examples point to the murkiness of the construction. I have a vague recollection of these being the kinds of things where hyphens were originally used (e.g., "brunette eye-doctor"), but the hyphens were eliminated for "simplicity."

Stupid language, English is. :)

jsh
01-16-2007, 07:22 PM
I have a vague recollection of these being the kinds of things where hyphens were originally used (e.g., "brunette eye-doctor"), but the hyphens were eliminated for "simplicity."
I thought the hyphens were for compound adjectives:

"The anal-retentive doctor kept my sphincter in a jar." Can also be "The doctor, anal retentive, kept my sphincter in a jar." Modern American Usage, the revised edition, calls the hyphenation a "Germanism." A good example is the military's meals ready to eat. They're not ready-to-eat meals, although they are, but you get the idea.

In land use, some types of uses are called "special land uses," which is distinct from "special-land uses." Just as a "special-use permit" is different from a "special use permit." The former is a permit for a special use, the latter is a use permit that is special.

"The blue green politician" is a melancholy environmentalist, but the "The blue-green politician" might be an environmentalist democrat or a fella with a strange skin condition.

IIRC, capitalized compound adjectives are not hyphenated: "The Burger King value meal" rather than "The Burger-King value meal."

Caveat lector. ^_^

pconsidine
01-17-2007, 12:06 AM
For what it's worth, I was thinking of the late 19th century, when such hyphenations would have been common. But what the hell do I know. I just work in publishing and you know everyone in publishing is a moron. Especially acquisitons editors. ;)

engmajor2005
01-17-2007, 01:21 AM
I'm no grammarian, but in the OP "serial killer" is a noun, making "quadriplegic" an adjective. It's still missing a verb.

That being said, how would a quadriplegic kill somebody? Telepathy. "You're having a heart attack."

Or maybe the don't have any Professor-X-esque mental abilities, and they're just a real smooth talker...

Maryn
01-17-2007, 02:59 AM
Good point. It's not a sentence, whether the killer is a quad or targets them. I'm sure Spook knows that, too.

Don'tcha? Huh, don'tcha? Don'tcha?

Maryn, poking

PeeDee
01-17-2007, 03:05 AM
Not to go off this scintillating topic, but.....Maryn, your avatar is confusing the heck out of me. I keep having to double-take when I get to the end of your post, 'cause I didn't realize it was you.

Pete, whose boat is rocked.

jsh
01-17-2007, 05:53 AM
I just work in publishing and you know everyone in publishing is a moron. Especially acquisitons editors. ;)
At least you're friendly.

Siddow
01-17-2007, 06:32 AM
Not to go off this scintillating topic, but.....Maryn, your avatar is confusing the heck out of me. I keep having to double-take when I get to the end of your post, 'cause I didn't realize it was you.



I thought she got a perm. And grew a mustache. And, perhaps, started hanging out with Orion.

Whatever...it works for you, Maryn!

pconsidine
01-17-2007, 08:38 AM
At least you're friendly. You should see my rejection letters. ;)

(Just kidding. I don't do that anymore.)