Talk:fall between two stools

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RFV discussionEdit

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

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Rfv-sense: To attempt two tasks and fail at both, when either one could have been accomplished singly

As stated definition implies that the subject is an actor. AFAICT the subject is a thing. New sense reflects my sense of def, confirmed roughly by OneLook sources. DCDuring TALK 15:58, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Sheesh, if one can find a cite for "he fell between two stools" and one for "she", one should be able to find a few with proper nouns and other forms of the verb. We need some Bayesian reasoning protocols to save attestation effort. DCDuring TALK 21:39, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but it didn't actually take much effort. The three searches that I used were the first three that I tried, and each of them produced many other cites that I could have chosen instead. —RuakhTALK 21:56, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Cited. I wasn't familiar with this expression, but from what I gather of the etymology, subject==agent makes more sense, so maybe that usage is older? —RuakhTALK 21:43, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps so. BTW, the 2003 cite could be taken as a metonymous use of the first sense, with the film-maker's film project rather than the film-maker himself "falling between two stools". I find that reading more natural. Does the other sense need an RfV? To me it does not, but it is also not very common. DCDuring TALK 22:15, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I really should be possible to combine the senses, shouldn't it? DCDuring TALK 22:23, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I've added a new cite; does it look less metonymous to you? And I don't see a need to combine the two senses, even if it's possible to. —RuakhTALK 22:56, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

RFV passed.RuakhTALK 18:44, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't think so. No named task is being attempted. Although the subject is an actor, the definition should more closely resemble the first. Instead of "categories" they are "roles". DAVilla 11:58, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

RFV passed again, since DAVilla tweaked and de-tagged the sense a few weeks after his above comment. —RuakhTALK 03:18, 1 February 2011 (UTC)


Last modified on 10 February 2011, at 00:25