"you love yourself some me"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 18 03:39:48 UTC 2008

Well, I'm not at all surprised that the pressures of sE on BE
resulting from desegregation would induce this kind of
pswaydosemihypercorrection, *especially* in literature. After my time
in the service in units no more than .01% black, I had to re-teach
myself to use "y'all" and "you-all." Oddly enough, Jews and white
Southerners were about as rare as blacks in the ranks of linguistic
units of the Security Agency and even in the Language School,
controlled by the Security Agency in those days.

My WAG for the reason for this is that Jews had relatives behind the
Iron Curtain and Southern whites were too macho to want to be in
"mary" organizations like the HUMINT (human intelligence) units of the
Security Agency, when they could be in the SIGINT (signals
intelligence) or ELINT (electronic intelligence) units, where they
could learn what passed for computer electronics in those days,
allowing them to get into a good tech university or into a good
electrotech job with RCA or Zenith, when they reached their ETS
(estimated time of separation; "estimated," so that that GI's would be
subject to the black-boot Army version of stop-loss, called
"extension"; the more things change, etc.) or were "released from
active duty," whichever came first.

Years ago, I once saw a major article on SIGINT in Newsweek, with a
sidebar on ELINT. It made SIGINT sound like the backbone of that
infamous oxymoron, military intelligence. But I've never seen any
mention of HUMINT in any medium. I guess that some things can be kept
secret. Unless the media simply considered HUMINT to be too mary to be
worthy of note.


On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 3:37 PM, Benjamin Zimmer
<bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "you love yourself some me"
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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):
>  http://books.google.com/books?q=i-love-myself-some
>  http://books.google.com/books?q=he-loves-himself-some
>  http://books.google.com/books?q=she-loves-herself-some
>  --Ben Zimmer
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
 -Sam'l Clemens

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list