believe them say

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Jul 21 01:03:41 UTC 2004

the ever-alert laura staum came across the following today (while
looking at complement-taking verbs):

>> Consider the fact that your salesperson might work on commission
>> before you believe them say, "Omigod, your butt looks great in
>> those!"

this looks like "believe them say" was intended to convey 'believe them
when they say'.  i almost failed to notice the oddity, though.

no relevant google web hits on "believe them say" or "believe him say"
or "believe me say".  two possibles for "believe her say":

The Fabulous Six Youth Movement
... then he couldn't believe her say: I think i'm ready to go all the
way. that's
  when we started to smell trouble, cause our man was like in a glass
bubble. ...

carnal_anima's Xanga Site
... swimming at ryan's. yes. thug lovin': i wish that *just once*, i
could ask
  a girl "ya feelin' me?" and be able to truly believe her say "f'sho".

examples with non-pronominal objects are much harder to search for,

arnold (zwicky at

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