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  1. #1
    JACEK1 is offline Key Member
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    any word + -proof

    Hello everyone.

    Whatever word is put next to "-proof" works, be it animal-proof, child-proof, pet-proof, cat-proof, dog-proof, adult-proof, rodent-proof, and the list is neverending.

    Am I right to claim that all the aforementioned 'proof' combinations can be adjectives, verbs and even past participles? I think they can also be GERUND forms and present participles.
    What do you think?

    I have just animal-proofed the house = I have just protected the house from wild forest animals (says a forester).

    This gas cooker is childproofed = It is impossible for children to destroy it.

    My dad is pet-proofing the carpet = My dad is making the carpet resistant to pets.

    My brother is helping me to cat-proof the furniture in the house = My brother is helping me to make the furniture in the house resistant to cats.

    You had better buy Roofie a dog-proof toy = You had better buy Roofie a toy that cannot be damaged by dogs.

    This item is completely adult-proof = This item can only be used by children or youngsters.

    You should definitely rodent-proof your furniture = You should definitely prevent rodents from ruining your furniture.

    What do you think of my examples?

    Do they make sense?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: any word + -proof

    Quote Originally Posted by JACEK1 View Post
    Hello everyone.

    Whatever word is put next to "-proof" works, be it animal-proof, child-proof, pet-proof, cat-proof, dog-proof, adult-proof, rodent-proof, and the list is neverending.

    Am I right to claim that all the aforementioned 'proof' combinations can be adjectives, verbs and even past participles? I think they can also be GERUND forms and present participles.
    What do you think?

    I have just animal-proofed the house = I have just protected the house from wild forest animals (says a forester).

    This gas cooker is childproofed = It is impossible for children to destroy it. :cross" "This gas cooker is childproof" or "This gas cooker has been childproofed".

    My dad is pet-proofing the carpet = My dad is making the carpet resistant to pets.

    My brother is helping me to cat-proof the furniture in the house = My brother is helping me to make the furniture in the house resistant to cats.

    You had better buy Roofie a dog-proof toy = You had better buy Roofie a toy that cannot be damaged by dogs.

    This item is completely adult-proof = This item can only be used by children or youngsters. (though illogical)

    You should definitely rodent-proof your furniture = You should definitely prevent rodents from ruining your furniture.

    What do you think of my examples?

    Do they make sense?

    Thank you.
    See above.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    JACEK1 is offline Key Member
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    Re: any word + -proof

    Given the sentence 2 about this gas cooker, does it mean that '-proofed' is used as past participle in the Passive Voice and expresses action (transformation of something into something else) whereas 'proof' expresses state?

  4. #4
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: any word + -proof

    I actually think your example 2 is correct. It is more common to use "proof" as an adjective and "proofed" as passive voice but the meaning is the same.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: any word + -proof

    In "This gas cooker is childproof", for me, "childproof" is an adjective.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. #6
    JACEK1 is offline Key Member
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    Re: any word + -proof

    I couldn't agree more.

  7. #7
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: any word + -proof

    We frequently make verbs adjectives by adding "ed" like "shocked" or "stunned". "I was shocked" to me doubles as verb and adjective.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: any word + -proof

    As they become more standard, they tend to lose the hyphen.

  9. #9
    Skrej's Avatar
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    Re: any word + -proof

    However, in your example, I wouldn't consider a child-proofed gas cooker to mean children can't destroy it, as much I as I would take it to mean children can't hurt themselves by accessing it.

    Usually when we child-proof something, it's either to keep children from tampering with it or opening it, and thereby hurting themselves. For example, households with infants who are starting to walk will child-proof any cabinets or drawers within reach so they can't be opened. Medicine bottles are child-proof (and unfortunately often adult-proof) so pills can't be ingested accidentally. Doors leading to stairwells are either latched close or have baby gates installed in them.

    Child-proofing (or baby-proofing) can also involve putting rounded plastic or fabric edges on tables and walls with sharp edges or points that are at or below a toddler's height. Again, it's more about protecting the child than the object itself.

    Something that is X-proofed certainly can mean immune from that X's damage (i.e. bear-proof garbage cans), but can also mean rigged to avoid X hurting itself. Context will tell.

    Obviously, I'm not too worried about the bear hurting itself on my garbage can, but I am worried about the infant getting into the chemical cleaners stored under my sink.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  10. #10
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: any word + -proof

    If anyone is silly enough to bring a child into my home, I can assure you I'm more concerned with the survival of my stuff than with the safety of the kid!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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