Language Log Does an [Adjective]-Ass Job of Breaking Down This SNL Sketch

This article wins for most times we've gotten away with writing "ass."
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Did you catch this SNL Weekend Update sketch featuring Taran Killam as Jebidiah Atkinson, the speech critic who panned the Gettysburg Address? It’s really funny, but Language Log wasn’t focused on the humor. They broke down one line of the sketch to an impressive degree to look at whether or not “[adjective]-ass statements” can occur predicatively.

So what do they mean by “[adjective]-ass statements?” Things like “tired-ass”, “sweet-ass,” “big-ass,” etc are all examples of “[adjective]-ass” statements. At one point in the sketch Killam seemingly flubbed a line saying, “FDR gave a speech that was so boring-ass.”

It sounds weird, because typically [adjective]-ass statements follow a pattern of [adjective]-ass [noun]. That’s not something you learned in your high school English class, but it’s the pattern we’ve seemingly all agreed on, so things sound off when they don’t follow it.

There’s an even more detailed explanation, including much earlier examples of [adjective]-ass statements over on Language Log. They did a pretty thorough-ass job of explaining it, so we think you should check it out.
(via Language Log and SNL, image via SNL)

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Glen Tickle
Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.