Saturday, September 08, 2007

Lingusitic hipness at ROB

For a conservative magazine, Report on Business is trying remarkably hard to be hip. The September cover reads:

The Urban Dictionary has an entry for hate-on that's almost three years old, but Google only return 12,000 hits. That may seem like a lot, but in comparison jape, today's WOTD from Merriam-Webster Online, a word I'd never seen before, gets more than 500,000 hits. Many of the "hate-on for" hits eschew the hyphen, suggesting either that the writers have a more minimalist punctuation style or that they missed the joke.

Meanwhile, the ROB headline writer, obviously in a merry mood, continues on inside with the headline, "Flaherty will get you nowhere".


Jan said...

I was surprised that you took "a hate on" as a joke on (I'm assuming) "a hard-on" -- that hadn't occurred to me. Did a quick search and Google Books turned up "African American English, a Linguistic Introduction," by Lisa J. Green. She talks about "get your groove on" as a productive teen slang phrase (get your mack on, get your roll on, etc.). I could be wrong -- hey, I could be wrong about what joke you were alluding to -- but I've always read "have a(n) X on" as a variant of that. Am I the only one?

Jan (freeman at

Brett said...

The first time I read it, that was what occurred to me too. But those phrases are [noun=hate preposition=on] (allowing for intransitive prepositions). This one is [noun=hate-on preposition=for x]. I think they're different constructions. Google turns up only 24 "groove on for x", almost 90,000 "hard on for x", and 14,000 "hate on for x".