hardly

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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hardly

Post by Wizard of Oz » Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:41 am

.. saw this interesting exchange on a recipe blog ..
SoniaFebruary 23, 2012 at 8:15 AM
I would like to suggest also another version of jajik, it's from Van.

Ingredients
1 cup of matsuni
1 cup of sour cream
1 hardly boiled egg
1 boiled red beet
1 cucumber
1 onion
1 garlic clove
small bunch of greens
salt
lavash or bread
Preparation
In a food processor mashed the vegetables with the egg, then add the matsuni, sour cream & the salt. Serve with dried or fried lavash or bread.

Reply

RobynFebruary 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Thank you for your recipe, Sonia. I have one question: do you mean one HARD boiled egg? 'HARDLY' suggests the egg isn't fully cooked. I just want to be sure of your meaning.


SoniaMarch 1, 2012 at 5:40 AM
yes, Robyn, I would like to say Hard boiled egg. I'm mistaken.
.. interesting how the words hardly and hard can cause such a variation in meaning ..

WoZ surprised
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: hardly

Post by trolley » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:00 am

Interesting indeed. I'm with Robyn. For me, hardly boiled would be soft-boiled, or maybe even coddled.
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Re: hardly

Post by Phil White » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:09 am

Yes, absolutely. There are plenty of descriptions of this in various grammars.

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the pretty arbitrary nature of what we usually call "parts of speech" (see this article for some of my more obscure thinking if you can bear it). One insight has been that the accepted categorizations of pretty well all parts of speech are rarely tenable, at least from a functional point of view. The concept of adverbs in particular seems to me to have been thoroughly abused over the years.

My thinking led me to the conclusion that "true" adverbs, irrespective of the form they take (i.e. with or without "-ly"), identify an aspect of an action (generally a verb) that fundamentally changes our conceptualization of the action. In other words, if we say "he walked along the road", we have a mental image of a man walking, and if we say "he walked along the road quickly", this mental image changes. Many adjuncts are also referred to as "adverbials", especially those referring to time, but as I see it, the time expression in "he walked along the road in the morning" in no way changes our mental image of the act of walking (nor indeed does "along the road"). This seems to contrast with adverbial expressions of manner, which do change our mental image: "He walked along the road with some urgency".

By that line of thinking, "hardly" is a true adverb (although it is unrelated in meaning to the adjective "hard"), while "hard" in the collocation "hard boil" is not a true adverb. In contrast, however, the "hard" in "he hit the ground hard" does change our mental image of his making contact with the ground, and is a true adverb.

In reality, of course, both "hardly" and "hard" in the case in hand are special cases. While "hardly" can be seen as a true adverb by my definition, it does not behave in the same way as other adverbs (you cannot say "he boiled the egg hardly"). And the resultative meaning of "hard" in "hard boiled" is only found preceding the verb in a few set expressions such as "hard boiled" or "hard done by". Otherwise, it tends to follow the verb, as in "frozen hard".

Sorry. My head is at the moment full of questions like "why can we say things like 'thick-skinned'", and it spills over into my posts. After all, "thick" is not an adverb, true or otherwise, and "skin" does not exist as a verb in this meaning except in this expression. And ...
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Re: hardly

Post by tony h » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:07 pm

Phil: I liked your post but wouldn't like to live in your head.

Woz :we then have the case of the "just boiled missionary" vs the "justly boiled missionary"

I was once introduced to a chap with the phrase "be cautious he was left in the pot too long". By which he meant the gentleman was "hard boiled".
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With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

Re: hardly

Post by Wizard of Oz » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:44 am

.. Phil I loved the article by Lera Boroditsky that you referenced and the elements of Linguistic Relativism agree with my own musings in that direction .. when I was doing linguistics Sapir-Whorf was the theory of the moment and I found that work very engaging .. I agree with tony that living in your head would be a hectic life .. however having said that I envy you your professional insight and ability to even attempt such abstractions ..

WoZ who is syntactically challenged
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: hardly

Post by Phil White » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:00 pm

Spare a thought for my dog, Sheba. She puts up with it all the time.

"So do you think there is a rigid distinction between verbs and nouns, or is it more of a continuum?"
"Stick, stick."
"That's a case in point. Are you thinking of the thing itself or of the action of chasing it?"
"Just throw the bloody thing, moron."
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Re: hardly

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:54 pm

Have you thrown it yet?
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Re: hardly

Post by Phil White » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:10 pm

Yes, but I suspect she still thinks I am a moron.
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Re: hardly

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:17 am

This is not made easier by the fact that 'hard' in 'He stared hard at her for several seconds' is definitely a (flat) adverb, while 'hard' in 'a hard boiled egg' is adjectival, describing the resultative state of the egg rather than the manner of boiling (contrast a gently boiled egg). Also, the boiling is over for the hard boiled egg. In 'Giggs shot wide', is 'wide' an adverb of manner or a resultative adjective (cf 'he fell flat')?
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Re: hardly

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:13 am

I've been toying with

yellow birds is to other birds as

slowly stopped is to never stopped. (??)

Determiners, specifying the 'reference of the noun or noun phrase in the context' [Wikipedia] rather than further specifying attributes, are considered a different word class from adjectives nowadays. Isn't the function of 'never' here likewise totally different from that of the adverb 'slowly', which describes the stopping process?
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