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  • An Oscar-assured performance from Angelia Jolie.

    —blurb for some new film.

    What struck me here is the semantics of the compound, with the noun in an objective relationship to the past participle. So far today I haven't been able to think of any others. This compound construction is usually used in an agentive way ('moth-eaten clothes', 'God-given talents'), or locative ('Frankfurt-listed company'), or instrumental in 'blood-spattered', 'frost-bitten', 'halogen-lit'. Then there's 'flesh-coloured' and 'sepia-toned'.

    Then I began wondering about the clause this compound was related to: 'Jolie was assured (of) an Oscar', the two forms of which are passives of something like 'Her performance assured Jolie (of) an Oscar.' Ghits for 'assured him (of) victory' shows both are used, with 'of' much more common.

    November 25, 2008