Talk:off the deep end

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Tea room discussion[edit]

Note: the below discussion was moved from the Wiktionary:Tea room.

It seems to me that The Free Dictionary and Merriam-Webster online have slightly different meanings for this idiom than on off the deep end. Could some native speaker check it? —This unsigned comment was added by 78.31.25.36 (talk) at 13:00, 29 December 2008 (UTC).

My experience matches our definition rather than theirs; however, I agree with their decision to have go off the deep end (TFD MWOD) rather than off the deep end. "Go off the deep end" = "go crazy", so logically it would make sense that "off the deep end" = "crazy", but I'm not sure that's actually the case. If I want to say that someone is (now) crazy, I'd say "He's [=he has] gone off the deep end", not ?"He's [=he is] off the deep end." —RuakhTALK 20:02, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Concur with Ruakh. Go should be part of the headword, with the current title redirecting. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 20:07, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree that go off the deep end is much more common than "be off the deep end". But the latter is attestable and not rare. It is already going gradable ("too much off the deep end"), though not yet comparable, afaict. It seems part of language evolution for a sense to proceed from use only with "go" to use as an adjective (eg, ape, apeshit, ballistic, bananas, bonkers, etc.). Can medieval and postal be far behind? DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 20:41, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
But if go off the deep end is older, and still several times as common, then it warrants special mention. For one thing, I think it means that adverbial use of "off the deep end" is more common than adjectival use of same, but we're defining it solely as an adjective. ("Go" can be used with adjectivals, as in "go crazy", "go sour", "go missing", etc., but "off the deep end" is an adverbial metaphor, and I think its continued attachment to "go" suggests that it's kept that adverbiality for many speakers.) If we want to keep the entry at off the deep end, then I think we need to add an adverb POS, an etymology, and a usage note of some sort. —RuakhTALK 21:14, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I was not arguing against the "go" form, just for also retaining the bare form. I had put in an RfD for another entry like this, which RfD I think is wrong. I think I agree with everything you say about this entry and that portions are relevant for many of these "go" forms. They seem to be an incubator for new senses of words and phrases and for totally new phrases. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 00:16, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Also consider its use with verbs like "jump", "leap" retaining the idiomatic/figurative sense. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 20:45, 29 December 2008 (UTC)