"you love yourself some me"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu Apr 17 19:37:57 UTC 2008

On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 2:36 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 10:57 PM, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> >
> >  A line from Mariah Carey's "For The Record", from her new album "E=MC2":
> >
> >    The whole entire world can tell
> >    That you love yourself some me.
> >
> >  This perhaps alludes to Toni Braxton's 2003 song "I Love Me Some Him",
> >  discussed a couple of years ago by Larry Horn:
> >
> >  http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0502d&L=ads-l&P=15845
> >
> >  But Mariah opts for a reflexive pronoun in her personal dative, which is far
> >  less typical.
> >
> >  The song lyric came to my attention from catching part of tonight's
> >  "American Idol". Mariah, after singing a guest performance, tells judge
> >  Randy Jackson (her erstwhile musical director), "The whole entire world can
> >  tell that I love myself some him... some Randy," which she then identifies
> >  as a line from her new album. So in that transposed version it sounds even
> >  more like the Toni Braxton line, except with reflexive marking.

> "You love yourself some me" and "I love myself some him ... some
> Randy" look like pswadosemi-hypercorrections made under the pressure
> of standard English to me. "I love me some him" sounds totally
> natural. Cf. "I'm eating me some potato chips"; "I laid down last
> night, thinkin' about me a mojo hand," and multitudinous others that I
> could quote, as those cited, or make up.

Thanks, Wilson -- Mariah's usage did seem a bit unidiomatic. But I
wasn't sure, since Google Book Search throws up some other BE sources
(much of it self-published fiction):


--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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