Talk:precedent

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RFD discussion: March 2013–March 2014[edit]

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precedent

Two noun senses:

  1. (obsolete, with definite article) The aforementioned (thing).
  2. The previous version.

Both of these seem to me to be "fused-head" constructions of the adjective with different context-dependent nouns understood. They are very much like "rare" in:

"Did want dark or light meat?" / "I'll have the dark."

We have the "preceding" sense of precedent in the entry. It is possible that the fifth sense ("an earlier draft of a document") may suffer from the same defect. DCDuring TALK 18:33, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

He is challenging only two of five senses. Equinox 19:06, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Don't they have plurals? If they do, then keep. Equinox 19:08, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Dunno about the second one, can it be cited? Something like this is a precedent of my essay/this is a precedent of the song? As for the first one, it's an adjective, ergo delete. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:10, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Very many adjectives can be used in plural in fused-head constructions to refer to a wide range of things, known from context, so I don't think that can be a definitive test. For example, color adjectives can be used in the plural to refer to, say, game pieces. OTOH, many adjectives can't be readily pluralized and even the color ones may be used in agreement with a plural verb: "The red (one|ones) is|are more attractive."
We wouldn't want agreeable and disagreeable to be defined as nouns because of citations like this:
  • 1855, Blackwood's magazine, volume 77, page 331: 
    The disagreeables of travelling are necessary evils, to be encountered for the sake of the agreeables of resting and looking round you.
"We wouldn't want agreeable and disagreeable to be defined as nouns because of citations like this." Well, I would! See e.g. nouns at unanswerable and married. If we don't do this, then there seems to be no way we can have an entry for the (attestable) plural, as what else would its part of speech be? Equinox 11:45, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
What is a fused-head construction? In any case, the first nominated definition’s usex seems to be the adjective precedent with the noun argument implied, so I’ll go with delete.
I don’t know about the second one. I’d have to see a usex before voting. — Ungoliant (Falai) 00:13, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Is "fused-head construction" another made-up term? Mglovesfun (talk) 11:05, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
@MG: What was/were the other one(s)? DCDuring TALK 12:52, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
@Ungoliant: In English, determiners, quantifiers and adjectives can be used as nominals without an explicit noun or pronoun.
"Would you like a rare piece or a well-done one?" "I'd like the rare (one)."
"We have sets of four glasses and of six (glasses)."
"Where are the sausages?" "I bought some (sausages) yesterday."
I don't think that there is any point in assigning the underlined terms acquire a new PoS. The deletion of the terms in parentheses seems like a part of normal grammar. DCDuring TALK 13:13, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
DCDuring TALK 13:13, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: It seems like we're putting the cart before the horse here. We're RfDing something before we even bothered to ascertain if it can be verified Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 17:52, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
  • The OED has it: "the precedent: the aforementioned; that which has just been said or written. Obs." It's not a use of the adjective, it comes from a plural form (also obsolete) which referred to "foregoing facts or statements". Ƿidsiþ 17:18, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
    Kept. No consensus.--Jusjih (talk) 05:32, 25 March 2014 (UTC)