Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 15:30:32 +0000
From: Jim Rader
Subject: Re: "concerning," adj.

Our paper cite file has two contemporary examples of this usage,
which are interesting enough to be worth quoting:

"You look around," said [Chuck] Daly [basketball coach], "and we have
a form of MTV basketball. We have rookies coming into the league who
are set for life before they ever play a single [NBA] game. ...We're
really setting up people to leave the sport very early, which I would
think would be very concerning." (column by Joe Menzer in
_Basketball Digest_, v. 21, no. 8 [June/July 1994], p. 16)

Dr. Harold Jaffe, deputy director for science of the AIDS program at
the Federal Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, said he would
like to see the findings confirmed in a larger group exposed to the
AIDS virus. But, he said, "If it's correct, it's very concerning."
(byline of Gina Kolata, _New York Times_, June 1, 1989, p. A21)

I haven't tried searching this on our citation database, which would
record usages that hadn't been specifically marked; I suspect the
usage is salient enough that editors would have marked it. Nor have
I tried searching it on Nexis. I assume that adverbs such as "very"
are categorized by Lexis-Nexis as "noise words," so that it would be
difficult to separate adjectival uses of _concerning_ from the
unsearchably large number of prepositional uses.

The editor who reviewed the 1989 cite during the editing of C10
questioned the label "archaic" given _concerning_ in the sense "causing
concern" in W3--with good reason, to judge from what Jesse has
observed. I don't recall ever hearing or seeing it before.

Jim Rader