(a) space cadet

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
— I'm sure I didn't get it. They were looking for an "earth mother" type. I overheard the director say I was more space cadet.
What Women Want, film

Why do you think there's no article before "space cadet" while there is before "earth mother type"?
Thanks.
 
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  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    There's no article because he/she [the director] is not say that they are "a space cadet" but that they "are more space cadet material / have the makings of a space cadet / have the qualities that a space cadet would have."
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    There's no article because he/she [the director] is not say that they are "a space cadet" but that they "are more space cadet material / have the makings of a space cadet / have the qualities that a space cadet would have."
    Then it should have been "more of a space cadet", no? Because "space cadet" is not an uncountable noun or an adjective...
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Then it should have been "more of a space cadet", no? Because "space cadet" is not an uncountable noun or an adjective...
    Not necessary.
    Just like I can say "He's more philosopher than comedian."
    Because that's the way we say it, which always trumps so-called "rules."
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Not necessary.
    Just like I can say "He's more philosopher than comedian."
    Because that's the way we say it, which always trumps so-called "rules."
    I.e., in this case, 'philosopher' and 'comedian' do act as if they were adjectives, do I correctly understand?
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There's no article because he/she [the director] is not say that they are "a space cadet" but that they "are more space cadet material / have the makings of a space cadet / have the qualities that a space cadet would have."
    Yes, but the meaning could be figurative: "space cadet" can mean "out of touch with reality", "a bit weird" (at least in BrE).
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I.e., in this case, 'philosopher' and 'comedian' do act as if they were adjectives, do I correctly understand?
    Just like "space cadet," in my opinion.
    Note the following from Wiki:
    "The popular meanings of "space cadet" later shifted in popular culture away from astronaut-in-training to indicate, by the 1960s, an "eccentric person disconnected with reality" (often implying an intimacy with hallucinogenic drugs) although by the 2010s, drug use was rarely implied by this phrase, nor was low intelligence implied; "space cadet" was more simply associated with "spacing out," wandering from present concerns, especially of others present, and being a "space case." Both the "trainee astronaut" and "person regarded as being out of touch with reality" entered the Oxford English Dictionary, though by 2014 Oxford noted that, in American English, the phrase had also recouped the positive connotations originally meant by Heinlein and Joseph Greene, the Tom Corbett, Space Cadet writer: "An enthusiast for space travel, typically a young person."
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I didn't think of the literal meaning of "space cadet", because all dictionaries have it as in expression:)

    Just to clarify it please, am I correct that all the below could work in the OP?:

    I was more space cadet
    I was more a space cadet
    I was more of a space cadet
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Ditto.

    It's an adjective, just as earth mother is in that sentence.
    But earth mother is a noun group which modifies another noun, "type". "Space cadet", however, modifies nothing.

    If it had not been for "type", earth mother without the article would be just wrong, wouldn't it?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Here are three sentences that have the same meaning:
    I was more of an earth mother type than I was a space cadet type.
    I was more of an earth mother than I was a space cadet.
    I was more earth mother than space cadet.
    The OP mixes two of these and loses the parallel style but not the meaning.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I overheard the director say I was more space cadet.
    What Women Want, film

    Why do you think there's no article before "space cadet" while there is before "earth mother type"?
    In my opinion the director is using "space cadet" as an adjective, not as a noun. That is why it is missing an article.

    Why do I think that? Because it is missing an article.

    Here the adjective phrase "space cadet" refers to your style, your personality, your "type".
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you everybody.
    I was more of an earth mother type than I was a space cadet type.
    I was more of an earth mother than I was a space cadet.
    Could these two also work with "of" being removed?
    I was more an earth mother type than I was a space cadet type.
    I was more an earth mother than I was a space cadet.
     
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