failures of parallelism

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Fri Jul 9 22:33:36 UTC 2004

--On Friday, July 9, 2004 2:05 PM -0700 "Arnold M. Zwicky"
<zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:

> On Jul 5, 2004, at 1:23 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> ...How about these truly negative ones, just googled up for our
>> viewing pleasure:
>> consider password protecting that directory so that anyone can't come
>> along
>> and drop your tables
>> "A customer will feel safer knowing that anyone
>> can't just waltz into their place of business."
>> But anyone can't solve that problem...
>> The Reality as below: anyone can't do what they want to do/anyone
>> can't be what they want to be/anyone can't say what they want to
>> say/anyone can't feel what they want to feel
>> Just anybody can't baptize anybody.
>> People are looking for more substance in the music, but just anybody
>> can't give
>> it to them," Ice Cube told the Los Angeles Times
>> But I still have to know the password so just anybody can't get on
>> my desktop and start loading things.
>> With the fiscal problems we have in Maryland, people are beginning to
>> realize that
>> just anybody can't be governor
> "But anyone can't solve that problem" is a real baffler for me; i have
> to stop and work out what someone might have been trying to convey by
> it.
> the others are, to various degrees, better.  all except the first have
> a "just" in them (and i understand the first as if it had a "just"),
> which seems to improve things some, especially in the "just anybody"
> examples.
> i haven't tried to work out what's going on here; these are just gut
> reactions.
> arnold (zwicky at

I don't read "But anyone can't solve that problem" any differently than the
other examples that seem to have a lurking "just."  It seems to me as if
"just anyone" has evolved into something like a proper name, Just Anyone,
in these contexts.  (Something like the ghostly Not Me who crops up from
time to time in the Family Circus comic strip?)

"[Just] Anyone can't solve that problem."
"[John] Smith can't solve that problem."

OTOH, anyone probably won't agree with me.

Peter Mc.

Peter A. McGraw       Linfield College        McMinnville, Oregon
******************* pmcgraw at ************************

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