Missing PREP differing by dialect

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 3 15:26:49 UTC 2008

Thanks, arnold! I'm glad that it's not just me. Apparently, not even
the author himself coulld decide what that title was supposed to mean!

FWIW, I'm beginning to have a little more respect for the Wikipedia.
When I originally tried to use it, I wanted to see whether there was
any new material in a field in which I am, well, learned, and found
mistakes as gross as spelling "Chomsky" as "Chlumsky." But I guess
that "that's [merely] the shit you got to watch," to quote the set-up
to the punch line of an old joke.


On Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 11:05 AM, Arnold M. Zwicky
<zwicky at csli.stanford.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
>  Subject:      Re: Missing PREP differing by dialect
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  On Apr 3, 2008, at 7:50 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>  > "A Clockwork Orange"
>  >
>  > BTW, is there anyone willing to explain the meaning of this title or
>  > to deconstruct it in some way? Is it an orange composed of clockwork?
>  > Or clockwork that's orange in color? Has it a point? Or WTF?
>  from the Wikipedia page, the somewhat unsatisfying:
>  Explanation of the novel's title
>  Anthony Burgess wrote that the title was a reference to an alleged old
>  Cockney expression "as queer as aclockwork orange".¹ Due to his time
>  serving in the British Colonial Office in Malaysia, Burgess thought
>  that the phrase could be used punningly to refer to a mechanically
>  responsive (clockwork) human (orang, Malay for "man").
>  Burgess wrote in his later (Nov. 1986) introduction, titled A
>  Clockwork Orange Resucked, that a creature who can only perform good
>  or evil is "a clockwork orange — meaning that he has the appearance of
>  an organism lovely with color and juice, but is in fact only a
>  clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil; or the almighty
>  state."
>  In his essay "Clockwork Oranges"², Burgess asserts that "this title
>  would be appropriate for a story about the application of Pavlovian,
>  or mechanical, laws to an organism which, like a fruit, was capable of
>  colour and sweetness". This title alludes to the protagonist's
>  positively conditioned responses to feelings of evil which prevent the
>  exercise of his free will.
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
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All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
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 -Sam'l Clemens

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