"I just love me some X": a new construction?

Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Tue May 7 11:57:25 UTC 2002

Well, I wrote a long reply to this last night, and then my ISP got naughty
and I lost it.  Now, whether I can get up the energy to do it again is the

--On Monday, May 6, 2002 2:41 pm -0400 Laurence Horn
<laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:

> Here, the "some" doesn't really quantify "crazies"; the sense is
> really generic: 'I just love (me) crazy men/people'.  The "some" here
> looks like a quantificational fig leaf to allow the personal dative,
> since "I love me crazies" would be ruled out.  When I mentioned this
> example at my talk, one of the students mentioned noticing similar
> examples on salon.com's table talk (Lynne, have you caught these?),
> including this one:
> I just love me some Jude Law.

Don't read Table Talk, sorry.

> --yes, with the singular proper name.  I'm guessing the "some" is
> just pleonastic, although I'm not sure.  So I checked google, and
> found the examples below, inter many alia.  Note that the plurals are
> in each case pseudo-quantified, like Jack's example above; they're
> all really generic.  Does anyone know where this came from, or when?

I don't think it's entirely pleonastic, since I don't think
'I love me some Jude Law' and 'I love Jude Law' are strictly synonymous.
My interpretation of this has always been that the 'some' indicates that
'Jude Law' is not referring simply to a certain beautiful creature, but to
the experience of said beautiful creature.

Cf.  I need to get me some Jude Law.
In this case, I don't want an arm or a leg (or at least that's not what I'm
admitting to here), but rather that I need a Jude Law fix.

I love me some macaroni and cheese.
for me says 'I love sitting down to a big plate of mac cheese and stuffing
my face'--i.e., 'I love the macaroni and cheese experience', not just 'I
love the stuff that is called 'macaroni and cheese''.

Am I alone in this reading?


Dr M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
Acting Director, MA in Applied Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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