"Us ourselves"

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 24 01:50:15 UTC 2008

On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 10:21 AM, Arnold M. Zwicky
<zwicky at csli.stanford.edu> wrote:
> On Apr 22, 2008, at 10:29 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>  > From Slashdot:
>  > "[T]hey [PayPal] didn't respond to _us ourselves_ at all. [We had to
>  > hire a lawyer.]"
>  >
>  > I've never seen "us ourselves" before. Indeed, all cases of -self
>  > /-selves in this kind of construction seem rather odd. But, again,
>  > maybe that's just me.
>  yes, i find it odd too.  CGEL (p. 1497) gives two functions for NP-
>  modifier emphatic reflexives: emphasis (conveying roughly the same
>  thing as "no other than" and "no less than") and contrast, neither of
>  which seems possible in the example above;

Literally "no other than", though. = "didn't respond to us by
ourselves / to us on our own", as is made clear by the bracketed "[We
had to hire a lawyer.]"

Mark Mandel

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

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