Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 08:31:52 -0500 From: "Dennis R. Preston" Subject: Re: So fun I believe the adjectival status of 'fun' has grown in AmerEng. (although I have not seen any formal stufy of it). When I was a kid (40's - 50's, Louisville) 'fun' was a noun (We had a lot of fun). Since it was noncount, when it occurred bare in copular predicative positions (That was fun, It was fun) it had no article marking (*That was a fun) and seems to have been reanalyzed as a predicative adjective (by analogy with such strings as 'He was happy.' etc...). I believe I may have participated in this reanalysis. I did not, however, take the next step (which I believe happened in the generation right after me) and allow this new predicative adjectival 'float' to prenominal position (That was a fun party, We had a fun time last night). My student are puzzled to find that I find these sentences genrrationally ungrammatical. Peter's notes attests usage which now shows that 'fun' is a full-fledged adjective (at least in the mouths of younger speakers), and I have heard 'so fun' as well as other strings which include clearly adverbial modifiers of 'fun' (e.g., 'We had a real(ly) fun time). It appears to me that such data show that the adjectivalization of 'fun' is complete. This usage is noted by lexicographers. Even in the dusty American Heritage (1969) we find an entry for fun as 'adj. Informal' with the citation 'a fun group of people.' I do have a 'fun' verb, however, where I bet a lot of y'all don't. E.g., 'I was just (a)-funnin' you.' I.e., 'I was just teasing, fooling you.' DARE shows this as chiefly Southern and South Midland. Dennis (always a fun guy) Preston >A colleague just asked me whether I'd ever heard the expression "so fun". > >It sounds odd to me, and I THINK I'd say "such fun" or "so much fun", but >I'm not 100% sure that I might not have said "so fun" experimentally as a >kid, or that I have never heard anyone else say it. I can't quite get to >the bottom of my own usage grammatically, since I'm pretty sure that when >I say "It was fun", I'm thinking fun(adj.) and not fun(noun), and if this >is the case, the adverb "so" would be appropriate, not the adjectivess >"such" or "so much". > >My colleague says her daughter-in-law, who is from California, says it >all the time, and she wonders if it's California regional usage. If so, >maybe it's regional elsewhere as well. Or is it just idiolectal? > >Any thoughts? > >Peter McGraw >Linfield College >McMinnville, OR