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#1 2013-06-02 22:27:07

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1164

"Countify" for quantify

Countification is a linguistics term for the expression of a mass noun in countable form, according to Wiktionary, which dug up three examples from the literature, from 1969, 1995, and 2010. A 2002 paper on mass expressions uses both ‘massification’ and ‘countification’, in quotes, and it seems like a natural development when talking about the subject. Arnold Zwicky’s LL post Countification, from 2008, brings the word right out in the open, discussing the countification of porn, shrubbery, e-mail and spam.

The usage proper to linguistics is just the trampoline (sorry, the tremplin in French … I guess that would be “jumping off point”? Excuse? [1]) for this report of an eggcorn suggested by my encounter with ‘countification’ on LL. Any hits for ‘countity’ in place of ‘quantity’? Need you ask?

I don’t believe that the fascist control that happened in Japan and Germany could ever happen in the U.S. A majority of Americans believe in democracy and even if a large countity of people pulled through and tried to take over…
History blog comment

It is pretty easy to escape from Reimu’s wrath just throw any countity of Yen in any direction that is not yours and run like no tomorrow
Youtube gamer tip

It’s present in the various conjugations, though I present only one example.

Gross National Happiness (GNH)
GNH is an uncountifiable concept of development policy measured by the gross well being of people in their spirituality and material prosperity upraised based on religious philosophy.
Happiness wiki

Count is born of L. computare and quantity of L. quantitatem.

As an aside, in Edmonton, Alberta, recently, I was struck by an unusual pluralization on a billboard advertising a festival: More than 200 International Beer!. As if beer were quantified like deer. My Edmontonian niece found nothing strange about this. For me, it sounds as strange as saying, “At the butcher shop, I bought 5 meat.” In the absence of “kinds of”, it doesn’t sound quite right unless pluralized with an s.

[1] Edit: Aha, springboard.

Last edited by David Bird (2013-06-02 23:01:50)

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#2 2013-06-03 16:19:45

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2084

Re: "Countify" for quantify

Lovely find. I suppose “count ‘em mechanics” should really be called “can’t count ‘em mechanics.”

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