LANGUAGE LOVING, PRESENT PARTICIPLE USING, INSULT MONGERING CONSERVATIVES….Over at Language Log, Geoffrey Nunberg explains that the -ing construct he highlights in the title of his new book ? Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show ? is a trope largely limited to conservatives:
The fact is that the right owns those object+present participle compounds, as surely as it owns values, media bias, the lapel-pin flag, and sentences that begin with “See….” In fact you could trace the whole history of the right’s campaigns against liberals via those compounds ? from tree-hugging and NPR-listening back through the Nixon era’s pot-smoking, bra-burning, draft-dodging, and America-hating, until you finally excavate the crude origins of the trope in nigger-loving, the ur-denunciation of white liberal sentimentality.
….Nowadays that sort of talk is kept alive chiefly by conservatives who never tire of reminding the good people of the heartland how much contempt liberals have for them. In her book Shut up and Sing, for example, Laura Ingraham writes that “mocking the pickup-driving, tobacco-chewing, shotgun-owning South is one of the elite rites of passage.”
….But actually liberals rarely talk this way. On the Web, Volvo-driving liberal outnumbers pickup- or truck-driving conservative by around 50 to 1, and when you do encounter a phrase like beer-guzzling redneck it’s almost always offered either as a conservative caricature of liberal speech or in the spirit of a reclaimed epithet (as in, “…and proud of it, son!”)
I can’t say that that had ever occurred to me before. Surely we can think of some object+present participle insults of our own? But clean ones, please…..