Talk:snappy comeback

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A comeback that is snappy. Uses like "snappiest comeback" [1] seem to counter the claim of idiomaticity; it's a common collocation, but not especially idiomatic, as far as I can see. Equinox 19:04, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Keep. I think snappy and comeback both have sufficiently large ranges of meaning that this particular usage qualifies as an idiom, and a chiefly US one. The first time I saw it used (in an American comic strip in the 1960s, I believe) I didn't know what it meant. The fact that variant forms exist does not cancel its idiomaticity (lots of idioms have alt forms), although the variants might disqualify it as a set phrase. -- WikiPedant 19:21, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
PS -- Although attestability was not raised as an issue, I replaced the e.g. sentence with 20th- and 21st-century news quotations. -- WikiPedant 19:45, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Delete; snappy can be used with other terms besides comeback. --EncycloPetey 01:40, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't get your point here, Petey. Nobody is claiming that this is a set phrase. I see it as an idiom, and the terms comprising idioms can virtually always be used with lots of other terms. With regard to its idiomaticity, snappy comeback strikes me as easily passing the "fried egg" test: "terms for which specific restrictions to the meaning of constituents are made that could not be surmised pragmatically". -- WikiPedant 02:42, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
The idiom is at comeback, not in the combination. You can make a snappy reply, a snappy rejoinder, etc. So, would you consider all of these to be idiomatic? In any case, a "snappy comeback" can either be snappy because it is made quickly or because it is made irritably, so it utilizes two of the three definitions of snappy. --EncycloPetey 02:45, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Petey, I'm not sure what you mean by describing comeback as a one-word idiom, but this does not bear directly on the point I'm struggling to make. No, I wouldn't consider your examples to be idiomatic, since their meanings are SoP depending on context. What I'm getting at is that, although snappy has 3 senses and comeback has 2 senses, the term snappy comeback is used almost exclusively with one sense--a quick retort--and is thus idiomatic. Other uses of this collocation (which occur very rarely, and which I'm inclined to discount as plays on words echoing the idiomatic sense)--such as "a rapid return to glory" or, as you note, "a cranky reply"--strike me as SoP and linguistically non-noteworthy. But the "quick retort" sense fills the bill as an established idiomatic usage. -- WikiPedant 04:21, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Could we hold off action on this on this item for a bit? I am going to try to calibrate the COCA mutual information scores for adjective-noun combinations that we have accepted as idioms vs. some that we have considered and rejected. Preliminary results seem to suggest that the score in the plural is quite high. (It is lower for the singular. I don't know how to properly combine them.) Among collocations with more than one occurrence with comeback, snappy has the second highest MI, after "fourth-quarter comebacks", a standard in US sports. DCDuring TALK 14:27, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Delete. I always think a good test is if you can guess what it means before reading the article. Snappy and comeback are enough. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:43, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Delete per nomination.—msh210℠ on a public computer 17:25, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Deleted. I do love the straight-forward ones. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:36, 26 October 2009 (UTC)