more lost subjunctive; protest at

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Dec 1 18:48:38 UTC 2007

At first I couldn't understand what the damned unsubjunctified headline meant.

  And I've been following the news story.


James Harbeck <jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: James Harbeck
Subject: more lost subjunctive; protest at

Headline on today's Telegraph:

Mob demands teacher is shot over teddy

This is about the British teacher in Sudan who let her pupils name a
teddy bear Mohammed.

The subhead on the website is "Thousands protest at sentence handed
to British teacher for 'insulting Islam'." Note "protest at" as well
-- a usage that to me seems newish; I see it a fair bit now, but seem
to recall, perhaps inaccurately, that "protest" without the "at" was
more common in times past. It's a bit of work to sort through uses in
archives, as most hits for "protest at" aren't using the preposition
with the verb this way -- it's either noun + prep or the "at" starts
the next sentence.

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

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