"Obsolete," but still in use

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Sep 24 16:39:32 UTC 2006

At 8:39 AM -0700 9/24/06, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>I'd call the "me" usage colloquial.
>Uninterestingly, I'm not sure if I use it.

FWIW, it's quite standard, indeed unmarked, in
(colloquial) French ("Moi, j'aime ça." or "J'aime
ça, moi"), which presumably leads to its
popularity in the English of Cajun speakers.


>Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail
>header -----------------------
>Sender: American Dialect Society
>Poster: Wilson Gray
>Subject: Re: "Obsolete," but still in use
>Isn't "Me, I really like that" pretty standard? I also would use such
>a locution without giving it a second thought. But then, I thought
>that, e.g. "Can't anybody stay with her" was standard till I was in my
>middle thirties. For me, "Can't _nobody_ ..." would have been the
>non-standard form. You never know.
>On 9/23/06, Alainna Wrigley wrote:
>>  ---------------------- Information from the
>>mail header -----------------------
>>  Sender: American Dialect Society
>>  Poster: Alainna Wrigley
>>  Subject: Re: "Obsolete," but still in use
>>  On 9/22/06, Clai Rice wrote:
>>  > My students
>>  > agree that Mr. or Miss. with the first name is normal and respectful
>>  > usage, and most think that both uses are peculiarly Cajun.
>>  I'm inclined to agree with your students. My grandmother, hailing from
>>  Vacherie, LA, would be turning in casket to hear me address someone
>>  outside our family (or a close friend) without "Miss" or "Mr.", though
>>  I'd be hesistant to refer to most priests as "Fr. X" (I'm simply too
>>  young). My friends in New Orleans think this usage overly formal and
>>  "country."
>>  On 9/22/06, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>  > OTOH, she occasionally would say things
>>like, "I really like that, me." Until I
>>  > heard her use formations like this, I had assumed that only white
>>  > Louisiana Cajuns used such locutions in English.
>>  Goodness, no! There's a huge crossover. (Me, I tend to place it in the
>>  beginning though.)
>>  Alainna
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