>John Lawler writes: > >> You're more charitable than I am. I winced out at "caricatural", > >Winced *out*? Is this a new expression? Is there any difference between >it and winced? I have no idea whether it's a 'new expression'; I don't think I've ever heard it before, but that doesn't make it officially New. It's constructed within the parameters of the completive aspectual sense of "out"; it's a phrasal verb, a "verb-plus-particle" construction the likes of 'stress out' [= lose effective control of oneself under stress, and because of it], 'wink out' [= be unable to stay awake any longer, no matter *how* interesting the conversation is, nor *how* pressing the social obligation to stay awake may be], and 'burn out' [= [lit; of fires] to cease burning, usu. by deprivation of fuel. [met; of humans] lose effective motivation, usu. by deprivation of reward]. I guess I would define 'wince out' as to lose interest in reading further. I don't know where you're from, but I'm American, and I would expect most American teenagers to understand exactly what I meant; this is far from guaranteed elsewhere, however, so I apologize if I confused you. What did *you* think it might mean? By the way, if you're interested in looking at phrasal verbs, you might try George Meyer's dictionary. He actually sat down with an unabridged dictionary and ran through all the possibilities and if they were meaningful to him he defined them, and I think pretty well. Then there's Dwight Bolinger's work, which is definitive if anything is. And some interesting dictionaries; I can recommend the Longmans (and their other dictionaries as well), but I'm not familiar with the others. A short informative sketch can also be found in David Crystal's _The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language_ (1995), published by Guess Which University Press, which is fast becoming my favorite book. Like the OED, it will be instantly coveted by anyone who finds a.u.e interesting. Meyer, George A. The two-word verb : a dictionary of the verb-preposition phrases in American English. 1975. The Hague : Mouton. 269 p. (Janua linguarum, Series didactica No. 19) Spears, Richard A. NTC's dictionary of phrasal verbs and other idiomatic verbal phrases. 1993. Lincolnwood, Ill. : National Textbook Co. xvii, 873 p. (Series: National Textbook language dictionaries) Cowie, A. P, and R. Mackin. Oxford dictionary of phrasal verbs, New ed. 1993. Oxford : Oxford University Press. xviii, 517 p. Courtney, Rosemary. Longman dictionary of phrasal verbs. 1983. New York : Longman. 734p; ill. Bolinger, Dwight. The phrasal verb in English. 1971. Cambridge, Mass : Harvard University Press. xviii, 187 p. Isn't library automation a wonderful thing? -------------------------------------------- -John Lawler More grammar Linguistics Program University of Michigan "..and, who knows? Maybe the horse will sing."