Military industrial complex lays Pommy lexicographer low
charles at FREUDE.COM
Tue May 1 12:56:28 UTC 2001
This song has lexicographical interest. "Wild blue yonder" is parsed by many
people as a noun phrase and used in conversation that way. ("I lost my
wallet. I guess it's gone into the wild blue yonder.") I don't have any
citations for this, nor can I prove that the original intent of the first line
was that "blue" was the noun and "yonder" was an adverb ("wild blue, yonder").
I certainly never parsed it as an adverb as a child or when I was in the USAF.
However, I grew up in the south where we did in fact use "yonder" as an
adverb. (Not as an adjective, though.)
(I learned this from Michael Barr.)
>U.S. Air Force Anthem
>(Off We Go)
>Off we go into the wild blue yonder
>Climbing high into the sun;
>Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,
>At'em boys, giv'er the gun!
>Down we dive spouting our flames from under,
>Off with one hell-uv-a roar!
>We live in fame or go down in flame,
>Nothing'll stop the US Air Force!
Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University
Affiliate Scholar, Oberlin College
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