Friday, August 31, 2012


It's time for another presidential election and as usual some people have already decided who they are going to vote for, and others have not.  Those who have not yet decided whom they are going to vote for have a special name: THE UNDECIDED.

As the New York Times has written,

Meet the Undecided,

a reference to those who have not yet decided whether to vote for President Barak Obama or for Mitt Romney.

Where does this adjective come from? We have "the poor" or "the hungry" or "the early risers" or other nouns that derive from adjectives. But from "the hungry" we don't say "the hungries" or from "the confused" we don't say"the confuseds" and yet these and other headlines were written:

Deciding the undecideds: Tough for Obama, Romney

The Undecideds

This article above has the following quote:  They have already made up their minds, leaving the outcome to a slim margin of those identified as either “undecideds” or “independents.”

Here we see the article straight out using the past participle adjective form of the verb "(to) decide" as a plural noun: (to be) independent --> (an) independent --> the independent --> now a plural count noun: (the) independents.

Another strange nots is that I have never heard the positive version: "the decided".

Searching for the Undecided Voter

In the next few months we shall see what happens to "the undecided." Will they make a choice? Or will they remain undecided, and not vote for a candidate for President?

Read the following article,

Poll finds swath of voters undecided, unexcited

and then let's discuss this again in November, comparing data.


1 comment:

  1. This is a great blog and a great way of teaching new vocabulary -- thanks! I'll be recommending it to all of my friends who are learning English, as well as using it in future classes.

    I only wish I could find one similar that would teach me Portuguese...