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"Y has 1250 fans" means there are 1250 X for which X is fan of Y. If there are 12 Y for which the "X is a fan of Y" relationship holds for a given X, what's a word or phrase to say "X has 12 __" ?

Similarly, if "X is a fan of Y", then what's the equivalent way of saying this with Y as the subject and X as the object ("Y __ X") ?

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AFAIK, the (boring) answer is that there's no inverse (unless you specify the type of Y, at least). For your second blank, you can fill in "has as a fan" (or, more conventionally, "Y has X as a fan"). –  ShreevatsaR Sep 15 '10 at 12:03

3 Answers 3

"Y has 1250 fans" means there are 1250 X for which X is fan of Y. If there are 12 Y for which the "X is a fan of Y" relationship holds for a given X, what's a word or phrase to say "X has 12 __" ?

As Jeffrey Kemp and ShreevatsaR pointed out in an answer and a comment, there is not really one distinct answer to this question. But there are lots of possible words you could use depending on the context. For example

X has twelve idols

or

X has twelve heroes

or

X has twelve favourite stars

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X has twelve favo(u)rites –  Jared Updike Oct 28 '10 at 22:22

I don't think English has any word which is the inverse of "fan" - apart from the phrase "is a fan of".

"X is a fan of 12 people"

"Y has a fan in X"

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I was afraid so.. it's actually worse because in my case the "Y"s are not just people or any other single group; they may be people, sport teams, music bands, etc, so it would be something like "X is a fan of 12 entities/things/???", none of which sound particularly good.. –  gsakkis Sep 15 '10 at 12:11
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Really? You would say "Y has a fan in X"? I find this rather awkward. –  Kosmonaut Sep 15 '10 at 13:41
    
If I google for "* has a fan in *" there are quite a few examples. –  delete Sep 15 '10 at 14:03
    
@gsakkis: If the Ys are not all the same type, really what sense or purpose does it have to count them? If I were a fan of 3 athletes, 4 movies and 6 restaurants, I can imagine no context in which it would be useful to say "I am a fan of 13 _____" or "I have 13 _____". (In any case I'd have trouble enumerating all the people/things I'm a fan of without being prompted for type, and I assume the same is true for most people.) (Even among "people", I don't see the purpose in adding, say, the number of athletes and number of actors I may be a fan of, but "people" works there.) –  ShreevatsaR Sep 16 '10 at 21:58
    
Just use the term "favorites". Favorite movie, favorite religion, favorite sports team, favorite flavor of ice cream, favorite brand of computer. –  Jared Updike Oct 28 '10 at 22:24

Remember that fan derives from "fanatic," which usually implies exclusivity, so it's hard to truly be a "fan" of 12 unrelated people or things.

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