> "Mark J. Reed" <markjreed@...> wrote:

> What I meant was that "fry", "pry", and "try" are verbs with no 
> homographic adjective, while "wry" is an adjective with no homographic
> verb.  Either way, there's no way to see if the "dry" difference has
> anything to do with comparative vs agentive.

The verb "ply" (join together, fold) < Latin 'plicare', to fold.  The 
adjectival suffix -ply doesn't seem to admit of comparison: This board 
is *two-plier than that one.

There is another verb "ply" (engage in a trade, etc.) which < Middle 
English '(ap)plien', employ, > apply.

A "plier" is someone who plies a trade.  Interestingly the AHD gives no 
etymology for the very common "pliers."  I wonder if it is a name given 
to a tool used by someone "plying" his trade, in the plural by analogy 
to scissors, shears, et al.