Best Implied Object

18 Feb

Oscars night: the biggest night of the year for glitz, glamour and tabloid sentence constructions. And the competition looks  particularly fierce in one category:

Whereas implied-subject (or “flying verb”) headlines rarely make the red carpet these days, implied-object sentences – that is, sentences containing a normally transitive verb but no direct object – go from strength to strength.

To qualify for this award, the object has to be genuinely needed in the sentence; some naturally “unaccusative” verbs don’t require them. For instance, one may “sparkle” or “glow” in the absence of any observers, perhaps involuntarily,

but to “stun” or “dazzle” clearly implies inducing a reaction in a second party. Contenders must therefore rely on the understood presence of an audience to be parsed correctly.

And the shock winner is: SHOCKS!

The first foreign-language film to win Best Picture: that really did stun. The Academy never ceases to surprise.

One Response to “Best Implied Object”

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  1. Stunning figure (of speech) | Ten minutes past deadline - September 15, 2020

    […] on the Sidebar of Shame, amid the barely-there beachwear, implied-object verbs and discontinuous transitions: […]

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