Word of the Week

01/03/2013 16:25

      

Photo: Matt Beckwith     

I've been writing my bachelor thesis for a while now and I bet I'm not the only one to come across some new words, linguistic curiosities, or even peculiarities. Last week we introduced a new word in the English language, this week, let's have a look at a word which is well-known to English-users, but used in an unusual form and with an altered meaning.

            I'm sure you all know what plurale tantum means. If not, I'll try to make it clear to you before revealing the word of the week. Non-professionally said, pluralia tantum are the tricky nouns which always appear in plural form (there is a bit more to be said about them, but whatever, for now we're good with the basics). As their forms are sometimes identical with regularly pluralized nouns (except for the damned -s in the end), they might cause problems with differentiation of meanings. One of such words would be keeps used exclusively in the expression for keeps. It is informally used as an adverb meaning forever, permanently or indefinitely. So I can marry you for keeps, we can love each other for keeps, or if you don't feel like rushing into commitment, we can just watch the movie Playing for Keeps, 2012, by an Italian director Gabriele Muccino, or you can read the book A Child for Keeps: The History of Adoption in England 1918–45, by Jenny Keating.

 

Zuzana Rajčáková

 

          

 

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