you absolute coat hanger
April 23, 2018 10:54 AM   Subscribe

 
yeah, I'm an Absolute Mefite...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:57 AM on April 23, 2018 [7 favorites]


I like this...a lot!
posted by cherryflute at 10:58 AM on April 23, 2018


you absolute coffee cup!

huh yeah it works.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:58 AM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


This is how a French teacher described "espèce de [noun]" to us once.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:00 AM on April 23, 2018 [20 favorites]


You absolute human being.
posted by y2karl at 11:02 AM on April 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


Espèce de pamplemousse!


Oui, ça marche.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:03 AM on April 23, 2018 [19 favorites]


Other fun elements in that article too!


Completely makes the phrase mean “super tired”.

“God, it’s been a long week, I am completely coat-hangered.”

posted by travertina at 11:05 AM on April 23, 2018 [12 favorites]


You absolute post.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:08 AM on April 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


I am utterly keyboarded that you absolute staplers did not know this. I am completely lunchboxed by this whole discussion.

...why yes, I work in a cubicle in an office building; how did you know?
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:08 AM on April 23, 2018 [26 favorites]


You absolute professional blue background!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:09 AM on April 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


you absolute metatalk thread
posted by entropicamericana at 11:10 AM on April 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


You inspirational altruist!
You thoughtful compassionate enlightened being!
Take that!
posted by ...possums at 11:16 AM on April 23, 2018


I did a wake and metafilter this morning and got totally projected, why do I gotta be such an absolute ask.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:18 AM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


In awe at this counterexample: "unit".
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 11:22 AM on April 23, 2018 [27 favorites]


You total fucking pot holder! You utter leftover pancake! You absolute stuffed kitten!
posted by briank at 11:22 AM on April 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


You absolute relativist!
posted by FJT at 11:25 AM on April 23, 2018 [14 favorites]


How does this square with "In awe at the size of this lad. Absolute unit."
posted by GameDesignerBen at 11:25 AM on April 23, 2018 [14 favorites]


Huh, "collocative substitution". Consider me frying panned.
posted by Horkus at 11:26 AM on April 23, 2018 [6 favorites]


You are always so negative you absolute values!

You burn my throat you absolut vodka!

checks out.
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:28 AM on April 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


I love the 'absolute unit' tweet and I cannot lie
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:29 AM on April 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


Corbyn being a personal counter-example to this proves the absolute boy's greatness once again.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:34 AM on April 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


what a pile of absolute cortex!

halp. cabal no hurt me!
posted by lalochezia at 11:40 AM on April 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


keep it down, i had a late night and I'm completely MetaFiltered
posted by cortex at 11:41 AM on April 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


So I’m intrigued by the term “collocative substitution,” but when I googled it, I only found links back to this tumblr conversation. Paging languagehat!!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:43 AM on April 23, 2018 [10 favorites]


Insults can occasionally come across as complimentary, per the classic Magnificent Bastard. That's how I took the "absolute unit" comment.
posted by Four Ds at 11:44 AM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


You absolute plate of beans.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:47 AM on April 23, 2018 [8 favorites]


You absolute zero!
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:49 AM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


So I’m intrigued by the term “collocative substitution,” but when I googled it, I only found links back to this tumblr conversation.

I didn't find anything on collocative substitution, but there is this that sheds a little more light.
posted by xedrik at 11:50 AM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


How does this square with "In awe at the size of this lad. Absolute unit."

Because you were already prompted to be impressed by "Absolute unit" by "In awe...". Imagine it without that context -- if someone had just walked up to you on the street a year ago* and said "Check out David Morgan-Hewitt. Absolute unit", you would have understood "unit" to mean "wanker".

* -- Amazingly, "Absolute unit." seems to date back only to December 2017.
posted by Etrigan at 11:53 AM on April 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


Leave it to the acerbic cynic to break this:

You absolute kitten!
You absolute flower!
You absolute darling!
You absolute doll!

etc.
posted by loquacious at 11:53 AM on April 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


You absolute funny commenters!
posted by Samizdata at 11:55 AM on April 23, 2018


You utter Samizdata favoriters!
posted by Samizdata at 11:56 AM on April 23, 2018


You absolute Absolut Vodka!
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 11:57 AM on April 23, 2018


So I’m intrigued by the term “collocative substitution,” but when I googled it, I only found links back to this tumblr conversation

Ironically, they may have meant paradigmatic substitution, a relevant phrase with examples at Google Scholar. See paradigm vs. syntagm. But collocative substitution sounds fine to me too.
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:57 AM on April 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


Coat hangers tend to hang coats and absolute coat hangers hang coats absolutely.
posted by MorgansAmoebas at 12:12 PM on April 23, 2018 [8 favorites]


I am utterly commenting.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:17 PM on April 23, 2018


I think I've been doing this all wrong. "Unreconstructed Asshole" has a nice ring to it, but I think I should be putting another word in there.
posted by Hactar at 12:24 PM on April 23, 2018


This is utterly pants.
posted by gauche at 12:37 PM on April 23, 2018 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: you absolute Metafilter: you absolute Metafilter: you absolute Meta*gunshot*
posted by Quindar Beep at 12:46 PM on April 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo, you absolute walnut.
posted by gauche at 12:47 PM on April 23, 2018 [6 favorites]


Y'all absolute awes.
posted by seyirci at 12:50 PM on April 23, 2018


you're all absolute hegelians. it's a wonder no one's come by to stand you on your heads yet.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:59 PM on April 23, 2018


re: this absolute unit - it's the you that does it. Like Jeremy Corbyn being the absolute boy, and that being a good thing.
posted by ambrosen at 1:10 PM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


What was the GIF? It looks like Shia LaBeouf in a remake of Citizen Kane.
posted by Naberius at 1:15 PM on April 23, 2018


It looks like Shia LaBeouf in a remake of Citizen Kane.

That is correct. (More accurately, in a remake of the common meme of Citizen Kane, but still.)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 1:23 PM on April 23, 2018


Naberius, it’s from this.
posted by greermahoney at 1:24 PM on April 23, 2018


I still don't get the "absolute unit" thing. The KYM page only explains "absolute". I know what absolute means. What does "unit" have to do with anything?
posted by inconstant at 1:29 PM on April 23, 2018


Also while we're here that Redwall post is very important too.
posted by that's candlepin at 1:35 PM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


The OED is usually pretty useless for matters of slang, but in this case it's exactly as useless as usual.
posted by cortex at 1:43 PM on April 23, 2018


So you're saying it's absolutely useless.
posted by Quindar Beep at 1:45 PM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


but when I googled it ...

Well that went a different way than the usual "but when I googled it" story...

"You absolute exception to rule 34" kind of works though
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 1:50 PM on April 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


C’mon, you gotta have some nuance between nihil and infinity.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:51 PM on April 23, 2018



Leave it to the acerbic cynic to break this:

You absolute kitten!
You absolute flower!
You absolute darling!
You absolute doll!

Happy to... but please stop with the synonyms for "snowflake"
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 2:12 PM on April 23, 2018


You absolute coordinate measuring machine.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 2:18 PM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


Which is *hilarious* considering all the measurements are actually relative! HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAaaahah ha ha
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 2:18 PM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


You absolute ally.
posted by y2karl at 2:31 PM on April 23, 2018


I think “absolute unit” is already evolving - I got called an “absolute unit” the other week by a Scottish person for finishing something way quicker than expected. I hadn’t seen the original context and his use totally worked!
posted by ukdanae at 3:00 PM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also I am a huge fan of -ed for describing drunkenness - my favourite is “banjoed” and my favourite ironic one is “lever arch filed”
posted by ukdanae at 3:03 PM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think I'm in love
posted by Space Kitty at 3:06 PM on April 23, 2018


You absolute lover!
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:14 PM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


You ABSOLUTE stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!
posted by lharmon at 3:17 PM on April 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAaaahah ha ha

What an absolute Sicilian.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:23 PM on April 23, 2018


you absolute Rockwell 65C02
you absolute micro-switch
you absolute DB19 connector
you absolute 616p modular handset jack
you absolute breadboard
you absolute M4×20 machine screw
you absolute Frahm tachometer
you absolute Bach-Simpson Mod. 635HV
you absolute EPROM

posted by scruss at 3:25 PM on April 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


> You ABSOLUTE stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!
"Who's absolute?"
posted by farlukar at 3:37 PM on April 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


You absolute handbag.
You absolute iPhone.
You absolute thumb tack.
You absolute calendar.
You absolute post-it.
You absolute car key.
You absolute bird nest.
You absolute blue jay.
You absolute baseball.
You absolute jersey.
You absolute diploma.
You absolute parking space.
You absolute subway pass.
You absolute gear shifter.
You absolute phone charger.
You absolute cassette tape.
posted by OrangeDisk at 3:52 PM on April 23, 2018


you absolute mukluk

You absolute petticoat
you absolute haberdashery
you absolute Orcish Fletcher
you absolute snowmachine
you absolute Amanita Muscaria
posted by some loser at 3:58 PM on April 23, 2018


If we're going to go poking around the Star Wars universe, it must be said: "Only A Sith Deals In Absolutes".

And where does Absolutely Fabulous fit in all this? Tell me, Patsy...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:04 PM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


you absolute Miranda
you absolute Chidi
you absolute Yoda
you absolute Dwight
you absolute Castiel
you absolute Mindy

hmm
posted by numaner at 4:07 PM on April 23, 2018


You Absolute at Large
posted by aspersioncast at 4:20 PM on April 23, 2018


There you go, ErisLordFreedom, you're totally cubical.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:07 PM on April 23, 2018


Scottish Twitter has this down, and somewhere in a political thread 'absolute doorknob' was used and I've added it to my personal lexicon.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 6:16 PM on April 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


You absolute toilet brush.
posted by y2karl at 7:09 PM on April 23, 2018


*Tears off shirt, offers six-pack Ab Salute*
posted by kinnakeet at 7:20 PM on April 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


Right kids, if you don't buy this record you're an utter, utter, utter, utter, utter... King of Rock'n'Roll
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:34 PM on April 23, 2018


you absolute Rockwell 65C02

That's just going too far.
posted by flabdablet at 9:53 PM on April 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


Re "collocative substitution": I've noticed that linguistics Tumblr has a certain weakness for this kind of terminological confabulation.

My theory is that the sort of linguistics enthusiasts who congregate there desperately want linguistics to impart this sort of authoritative, encyclopedic, quotable knowledge of How Everything About Language Works -- the sort of "absolute" knowledge, in short, that is almost never forthcoming in the actual study of linguistics. So that Tumblr ends up being a seller's market for impressive-sounding but never-really-used terminology.

But I'm an absolute case when it comes to language nerdery, so perhaps I'm being uncharitable here. Maybe "collocative substitution" is just a slightly nonstandard version of some other term that's well-established in scholarship?
posted by shenderson at 10:04 PM on April 23, 2018


I suspect that's the case...I'm mostly interested because although I don't know a lot about linguistics, I used to teach ESL, and I remember that collocations were very important--they are what often marks a non native speaker with otherwise fluent speech and a good grasp of grammar.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:42 PM on April 23, 2018


In a British-sweariness context, “absolute” can be replaced with “weapons-grade”, “gold-plated” or, if one is scientifically inclined, “platinum-iridium”. (The adjectives should generally, for optimal humorous effect, be related to physicality in some way, though perhaps one could get away with, say, “NP-complete” or something given the right audience.) Though in this case, the following word has to be more abstract. A good formula is something that follows the 1,1-2 syllable pattern, with the first part being mildly rude and the second innocuous, like “cockwomble” or “wankpuffin”.
posted by acb at 4:39 AM on April 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


I still don't get the "absolute unit" thing. The KYM page only explains "absolute". I know what absolute means. What does "unit" have to do with anything?

in awe at the size of this lad. absolute unit [13 December 2017 - ground zero]

look at this absolute unit. [9 April 2018 - new spin]
posted by rory at 5:37 AM on April 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


That's just going too far.

inorite? I have some Z80s and 2901s on the desk too, and I just couldn't.
posted by scruss at 5:46 AM on April 24, 2018


Ah, thank you, rory. So it was a preexisting jargon phrase in its entirety, just coopted for memery purposes.
My theory is that the sort of linguistics enthusiasts who congregate there desperately want linguistics to impart this sort of authoritative, encyclopedic, quotable knowledge of How Everything About Language Works -- the sort of "absolute" knowledge, in short, that is almost never forthcoming in the actual study of linguistics.
Having a phrase to describe a phenomenon is hardly some kind of authoritative declaration of knowing exactly how language works. This is the discipline that attempts to differentiate between "agent" subjects, "experiencer" subjects, "patient" subjects, "force" subjects, and let us not forget dummy subjects. Just because people still have arguments over whether optimality theory vs. rule-based analysis best models a particular behavior doesn't mean that there isn't loads of jargon associated with each approach!
posted by inconstant at 6:33 AM on April 24, 2018


The use of "completely" or "utterly" with a verbed noun is something I first encountered 12 years ago on moving to London. At first it was the more common "I am completely shattered today!" but ended up with people telling me they were "utterly haberdashered!" and so on.

Mind you, there was an awful lot of "Let's tease the Yank and laugh whether he acts surprised or nonplussed, because both are funny." going on.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 6:57 AM on April 24, 2018


Someone suggested that absolute transubstantiation didn't really work.

So I gave it my best shot.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:49 AM on April 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


My theory is that the sort of linguistics enthusiasts who congregate there desperately want linguistics to impart this sort of authoritative, encyclopedic, quotable knowledge of How Everything About Language Works

I don't think you're all wrong, there, though it's probably as you say stating it a little uncharitably (or at least the implied generality of that characterization is) and for sure it's not just tumblr. I'd put it slightly more in the territory of (a) lay linguistics enthusiasts let their enthusiasm run away with them as much as anybody else, and (b) that manifests in shoveling words around in a conspicuous way. The worst excesses of which are definitely people using authoritative-sounding terms of (possibly not actually even) art like a cudgel, but a lot of the time I think it's more the shared ooh and ahh of weird little discoveries at play.

The other bit is: if you're not a trained linguist, and you're learning about bits and pieces of linguistics and usage and language mechanics, it's relatively difficult to track down terminology. Linguistics is full of useful precise jargon that is difficult to navigate or search when you don't already know it. I can't count how many times I've personally tried to ferret out some kind of label or description for a mechanical feature of language that I could describe well enough to want a label but not describe in lay terms to a search engine well enough to confidently find that label, for example. Or all the times someone's been trying to find a name for this or that phenomenon or type of construction and I've (a) understood exactly what they're talking about and (b) been unable to help out with the actual term of art.

So to some extent for lay linguists there's this sense of...victory? of treasure found? when jargon appears, and it can as a result be too easy to take the win and not immediately break it down under harsh light to make sure its not actually junk after all. Which isn't a great habit, but there's at least a human narrative behind it beyond just reaching for the nearest plausible fancy word and swinging it around overhead with intent to strike, etc.
posted by cortex at 7:49 AM on April 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


reaching for the nearest plausible fancy word and swinging it around overhead with intent to strike

Haven't you heard the old adage, "words will never hurt me"?
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:52 AM on April 24, 2018


These days, that adage belongs to vape-fedoras who believe that not being allowed to use the N-word in casual discourse is a Stalinist encroachment on their freedoms.
posted by acb at 8:57 AM on April 24, 2018


Oh, please.
posted by y2karl at 10:09 AM on April 24, 2018


acb, your thing about the meter really makes me want to write a generator for the category of words I'm going to call wangdilberts.
posted by ambrosen at 11:17 AM on April 24, 2018


The other bit is: if you're not a trained linguist, and you're learning about bits and pieces of linguistics and usage and language mechanics, it's relatively difficult to track down terminology.

Also, different approaches use different terminology for similar/overlapping phenomena.

From the perspective of construction grammar (Adele Goldberg, etc.) I'd call the 'you absolute + [NOMINAL PHRASE]' a partially filled idiom (like 'the Xer, the Yer', but with a bit more semantic 'filling') where there is an open slot to be filled by the speaker.

But I guess you could call it a collocational substitution? It may be a substitution on the basis of an existing collocation, but as a non-native English speaker, I can't think what it is.

We do need languagehat!
posted by ipsative at 9:33 PM on April 24, 2018


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