Ejaculation (grammar)

Ejaculation (grammar)

In grammar, an ejaculation is an utterance that expresses a feeling outside of the normal language structure. Often, but not always, it is an exclamation, most often consisting of a single word, either an interjection or a profanity or both.


* In English:
** The shout "Hey!".
** The "huh" in "That man? Huh! He's history!"
** "Glory to God!", "Glory be!", or "Praise the Lord!" In this context, this is known as a religious ejaculation, not to be confused with a religious profanity.

* In spoken French:
** The exclamation "Bien!".The term is now considered archaic, and "to ejaculate" is associated almost exclusively with the sexual meaning. But it was in common usage in the grammatical sense up to the latter part of the 19th Century and early part of the 20th. It can be found in popular culture such as the Biggles books and libretti by W. S. Gilbert. Nathaniel Hawthorne used it in attributions of dialogue, such as the famous "Great Carbuncle" reference to the "Lord de Vere". (Coincidentally, the same sentence also uses the word "intercourse" in a non-sexual sense.) An example of this usage from David Hickey's 1884 novel "William and Mary: A Tale of the Siege of Louisburg, 1745":

:""Shiver me timbers, but I'll dew suthin' with it," he ejaculated, holding up the missive and then feeling it over and over again."

ee also

*Discourse marker

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