BL: trigger warning, trigger
Posted: 18 September 2015 05:41 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Warning: this post contains etymological information that may be upsetting to those who have misguided notions about linguistics

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Posted: 18 September 2015 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Conceptually, it seems to be a descendant of “spoiler alert”.

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Posted: 18 September 2015 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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And a very distant descendant of Here be dragons on old maps (if indeed such a legend was used. Or is this just as mythical as the dragons themselves?)

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Posted: 19 September 2015 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I don’t see how the 2008 Gannett usage ("Medicare trustees have pulled a ‘trigger’ warning for two consecutive years") has anything at all to do with the usage under discussion; it’s a completely different phrase that happens to use the same words.

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Posted: 19 September 2015 07:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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That’s why I said it was “confused” and that you don’t normally “pull a warning.”

The sentence should read either:

...pulled a “trigger warning” for two consecutive years.

Or:

...pulled a “trigger,” [issuing a] warning for two consecutive years.

Without a comma, the only way I see to read it is that trigger warning is a single lexical unit, with the trigger placed in quotes because that’s the element of new jargon.

I see it as an instance where the writer and editors didn’t exactly know how to parse this new phrase. Either that or the writer tried to get cute with the verb pull and just messed the sentence up.

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