In 1948, Bertrand Russell, on a radio program called The Brains Trust, gave a joke example of an irregular verb conjugation:
I am firm; you are obstinate; he is a pig-headed fool.
Apparently Russell referred to this construction as an emotive conjugation.
Here are a few more examples; I believe these are from a New Statesman competition to come up with other emotive conjugations, but Wikipedia (incorrectly, I think) attributes the first two of them to Russell:
I am righteously indignant; you are annoyed; he is making a fuss over nothing.
I have reconsidered the matter; you have changed your mind; he has gone back on his word.
I am sparkling; you are unusually talkative; he is drunk.
An about.com article from 2008 lists more entries from that competition.
I was thinking about this kind of thing the other day when a friend said something about me (to me) that put a positive spin on two less-flattering things others have said about (and to) me this year. So I combined the three into a conjugation:
I know my own mind; you like things to be just so; they have to have everything their way.
A few more pages with examples:
- Ben Schott ran a Weekend Competition about emotive conjugations in 2010.
- Time published some of the New Statesman winners in 1948, but the article (in their online archive) is available only to subscribers.
- Craig Brown ran a couple of lists in a Telegraph column in 2004: 1, 2
- Richard Lederer ran a contest in the Telegraph in 1969; he received 2000 entries, and published a few of his favorites.
I invite y'all to post conjugations of your own (or your favorites from other people's lists) in comments here. (They don't have to actually be about you, of course.)