Talk:pissed off

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

If this is a verb form, it doesn't need to be defined. Kappa 15:28, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

The first definition is for an adjective. SemperBlotto 15:32, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

It is a verb form functioning, as participles do, as an adjective. I have deleted the second definition, which was redundant. I agree, Kappa, that a verb form does not ordinarily need to be defined so long as its meaning does not differ from the root form. However, given that this particular form is probably the most common form of the verb, I think it is probably beneficial to define it here and also helpful to provide an example of the past participle's usage. -- WikiPedant 15:43, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
English does distinguish somewhat between past participles and adjectives. (Your confusion is understandable: there's a very productive process producing adjectives from participles, so much so that we have the special term participial adjective to denote adjectives so derived; and participles are often described loosely as "verbal adjectives", which emphasizes the relationship between the two by making it sound as though participles were both verbals and adjectives, when in reality they're verbals that have some adjective-like properties.) For some discussion of the distinction, see http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/047.html. —RuakhTALK 17:22, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Hello Ruakh -- You make reasonable and informed points, but, alas, I still see more merit in the other point of view. Although the discussions at Bartleby are always interesting, the one you have cited may not help your case. This discussion at Bartleby concerns what criteria to use to decide whether a past participle is functioning in any given sentence either (a) as a component of a verb construction or (b) as an adjective. My point of view—and I think Bartleby is affirming this—is that, either way , the past participle always remains a past participle and, hence, a verb formation; only its function changes. The basic part of speech remains verb.
That's why I believe it is the preferable practice to identify the part of speech for all past participles as verb (even those functioning as adjectives), and I don't see anything in the Bartleby discussion which puts this conclusion at issue. In fact, since Bartleby continues to refer to the adjective as a past participle "used as" an adjective I think Bartleby is by implication supporting this conclusion.
The more immediate question is what does Wiktionary want its editors to do—classify a term under its basic part of speech, which will not change, or under the part of speech which describes how that term functions in varied sets of usages which are rather difficult to circumscribe in brief definitions? Consider the subtleties which arise if we try to use Bartleby's criteria to distinguish "pissed off" the adjective from "pissed off" the verb component:
1. I was pissed off. (probably an adjective)
2. I was pissed off by his insults. (part of a passive verb)
3. I am more pissed off than you are. (adjective)
4. I am more pissed off by George Bush than by Tony Blair. (Trouble. Comparative indicates adj.; "by" indicates presence of verb construction. Which takes precedence?)
I propose that we take the straightforward route, stick to basics, and consistently recognize the part of speech as verb. Respectfully. -- WikiPedant 00:11, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
To state that a word belongs to more than one part of speech is not to pretend that all of its uses are clear-cut, clearly belonging to exactly one. The reason to list a given word as an adjective and not just a participle is if there are uses where it is clear-cut as an adjective. For example:
5. I was pissed off about something. (adjective; cannot add an agent)
6. *I was pissed off by someone about something. (ungrammatical)
Similarly with many other participial adjectives. For example, it makes no (semantic) sense to interpret "That sentence is confusing" as using the progressive aspect.
RuakhTALK 03:41, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
If you two figure it out, please let the rest of Wiktionary know the rationale (one way or the other) on WT:BP, as this has come up several times this year, with no solid conclusion yet. --Connel MacKenzie 01:35, 18 April 2007 (UTC)