golder
Posted: 05 November 2011 08:51 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2011/10/31/3331768.htm?site=science/askanexpert
Why are some beaches golder than others?

Is this word, meaning more golden, widely used? I haven’t seen it before. Google isn’t a lot of help because of course Golder is a very common name. “Golder than” turns up a few thousand hits.

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Posted: 06 November 2011 04:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Actually if we followed the usual pattern, the comparative adjective would be goldener, not golder. Golder (or goldener) is indeed rare. The few times I’ve seen it, I’ve mentally flagged it as an error.

According to the OED, the usual pattern is that adjectives of three or more syllable or those that end in -y or -ly use the periphrastic more to form the comparative. There are also some irregular forms, such as good / better and bad / worse, which have retained an older comparative form that dates to Old English.

The OED doesn’t mention adjectives that take the ending -en, which is added to nouns to form an adjective denoting material composition, e.g., golden, earthen, woolen. I would say that the periphrastic is typically used for these words as well. (We do have woollier and earthier, but these are formed from woolly and earthy, not woolen and earthen, so perhaps it should be goldier.)

In this particular case, note that golder appears in the headline, not the article proper. Remember that headlines are usually not written by the reporter who penned the article, and headline style follows its own grammatical and syntactical rules. Here the headline writer may be trying to save space, usually a prime consideration in headline writing, using golder instead of more golden. Or she may have been trying to be deliberately provocative, using an unusual form of the word to grab the reader’s attention. (If so, it would seem to have worked.)

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Posted: 06 November 2011 05:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Or she may have been trying to be deliberately provocative, using an unusual form of the word to grab the reader’s attention. (If so, it would seem to have worked.)
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Like Arkwright from Open All Hours, making deliberate errors to attract unsuspecting pedants who might be convinced to buy beans at unusual prices.

But it happens I wouldn’t buy any beans and I didn’t read the article. Probably it is just a case of the need for headilne brevity.

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Posted: 10 November 2011 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The term “golder” does seem to be rare. I also felt initially, that it was awkward to the ear. I did find the following, though:

Macmillan’s magazine, Volume 67 edited by David Masson, et al., page 62, 1893:

books?id=5CEAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA62&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U22tSOYmHEvsrSbYjRnhEc6Q-o1aA&ci=96,215,409,156&edge=0

And then I speculated that maybe the sense was simply one of ‘color’, rather than as Dave hinted at above, “material composition”:

[...The OED doesn’t mention adjectives that take the ending -en,] which is added to nouns to form an adjective denoting material composition, e.g., golden, earthen, woolen....

There are many other color words with -er suffix:

Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by ... by Robert Hooke, page 66, 1667

“bluer”, “yellower”

books?id=W5FqAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA66&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U3P4CT6xoGFONome2b_KNf0Rzbr5g&ci=191,743,683,124&edge=0

“whiter”, “browner”, “blacker”, page 214:

books?id=W5FqAAAAMAAJ&pg=PT125&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U2Ama7kp0Muk2-3QER3U43K4ZlZiQ&ci=190,858,683,155&edge=0

Another work, Theatrum botanicum: the theater of plants : or, An herball of large extent ... by John Parkinson, 1640

Has many -er colors, in fact, more than Hooke’s work; for instance, it includes “redder”, “paler”, and “purpler” and probably more that I missed:

books?id=pFcfNkN8QGYC&pg=PA753&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U0Y9ZYH5dXacgLb63syNSsQb4YrWA&ci=51,863,473,89&edge=0

Of course we have “lighter” and “darker” also as color qualities.

My speculation is that if “gold” was considered to be *simply* a color, then “golder” might *seem* to be correct. Consider also, the audience for which the article is written--it appears to me to be written with school-age children’s accessibility and utility in mind.

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Posted: 13 November 2011 03:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It has survived as Golders Green, a London suburb.

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Posted: 13 November 2011 04:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Evidently unrelated. The Golders in Golders Green is a variation on the family name Godere, resident in the area since at least 1361. Other local toponyms include Goodyers, Goodiers, and Goodhews, all from the same name.

(Source: Hitchin-Kemp, Fred., “Golders Green: Origin of Name,” Notes and Queries, vol. 158, no. 8, 22 Feb 1930, 131–132.)

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