Putative tit rub

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14 Responses

  1. Hilary Marchant says:

    So glad that this phrase has finally been subjected to this level of scrutiny…about time too.

  2. Bob says:

    a little context wouldn’t hurt…

  3. Bob says:

    Agree wholeheartedly on ‘tit-rub’, but I confess I find ‘inferred to exist’ troublesome. ‘Assumed to exist’? ‘Taken to exist’?

  4. Dru says:

    OED’s other synonyms for ‘putative’ appear to agree with your intention- “imagined; postulated, hypothetical” …. more importantly, to me, ‘putative’ sounds better. And better to be wrong but wromantic than right and even slightly revolting….

  5. Clare Stevens says:

    Really don’t see how the proof-reader gets from ‘commonly inferred as being’ to ‘anticipated’. Agree with Dru about the appeal of being wrong bu wromantic and if you’re allowed to use the word you originaly chose the reader can infer whatever they like as to its meaning. For the record, I would define ‘putative’ as something ‘being presented for consideration as, but without proof/evidence’.
    And incidentally, while on the object of Collins, I was surprisd to find that my mum’s subsantial edition of it didn’t include the word ‘subfusc’, which I felt had been misused in an article in the Guardian mag. Thanks to Google I now know it wasn’t misused – I’d only seen it in the context of academic dress, but the author was apparently quite entitled to use it to mean ‘dark and dingy’ in the context of describing a room. Do wish Collins could have told me this, however.

  6. Chas Ambler says:

    I’ve often anticipated a tit-rub myself – and been sorely disappointed.

  7. Bob says:

    Won’t Ian give you one, Chas?

  8. Hilary Marchant says:

    er, and for the record, this part of the book is set in the long-distant past before I had met Ian, so what he did with his hyphens was nothing to do with me.

  9. Ian Marchant says:

    I think I should have stuck with ‘putative.’It best describes the reality of the, dear god alive, 37 years ago thing itself. ‘Anticipated’ might imply that it had come to be. Putative is funnier, too.
    But the hyphenation can stand?

  10. Catherine Fox says:

    Didn’t we devote an entire Arvon course to this subject?

  11. Ian Marchant says:

    I think we did. Wasn’t it more tit-rub than putative, though?

  12. Catherine Fox says:

    You’re right. Let’s offer another course, because this needs looking into. ‘Anticipated’ isn’t right. I offer you ‘quasi-mythological’. That gets you two hyphenated words in one phrase.

  13. Colin Midson says:

    Message from editor:
    “Putative” restored!
    “Tit-rub” still hyphenated.

  14. Josh says:

    Well if anything is up for debate, tits are always a good topic right?

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