"The new Ballast Point lager drinks like a light beer but has great flavor.”
“The document reads like a blueprint for the Gates foundation”
I was thinking about sentences of this kind, in which the sense of a transitive verb appears to be flipped, such that what would normally be the object of a transitive verb becomes the subject of an intransitive, usually with “like” or “as” or with some adverbial or adjectival phrase.
Normally we say beer is drunk, but in this case we say the beer drinks. Normally we say a document is read, but here the document reads.
Is there a name for this phenomenon?
In order to examine other similar cases, I looked up the entry for “feel (v)” in the Oxford English Dictionary, in order to find out which sense came first:
1/ The transitive sense in such sentences as “I felt the paper”.
or 2/ The intransitive sense in such sentences as “The paper felt rough”, “The rock felt like an apple.”
Unless I’m very, very much mistaken, the OED has no entry at all relevant to the second sense! This seems like a major omission.