Talk:what's with

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Tea room discussionEdit

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Tea room.


You'll often hear school kids in Australia say What's with you? to mean What's wrong with you? How can we include that sense in with? ---> Tooironic 23:08, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

It seems to me like a two-parter.
  1. For with that seems like too narrow a usage example. I think the sense of with is something like "in relation to":
    • What's up with the new banner? / What's with the new banner?
    • What's happening with the health-care vote? / What's with the health-care vote?
    In this usage with is unstressed.
  2. But there is also a usage in which with (or its object) is heavily stressed (as I hear it in the US), which may be the same as what you are referring to. I think it is not exactly "wrong with", but perhaps someone else can find wording for this sense of with.
    • What is with him lately?
    • What's with him?
    It may be that what's with (why is (someone or something) like that) should be considered an idiom. It seems like a specialized interrogative pronoun, like {term|wherefor}}, possibly on the way to becoming a compound spelled solid. DCDuring TALK 11:24, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
  • What PoS would that fall under? ---> Tooironic 22:13, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
When a multi-word expression doesn't come close to fitting into a real PoS or a Proverb, I punt and call it a Phrase using {{infl}}. This one seems like it might also belong in Category:English idioms and Category:English non-constituents. DCDuring TALK 00:11, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
OK, great, I just added entry at what's with. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 07:57, 19 March 2010 (UTC)


Last modified on 22 February 2011, at 19:45