Test message (sorry for the possible duplication)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 10 18:15:03 UTC 2008

I sent essentially the same message out at 11:43 (according to my Out
box), but as of 1:14 it hasn't shown up in my In box.


At 2:04 AM -0500 12/10/08, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 3:58 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
>>  I'm working on my list for the Associated Press of the top 10 most
>>notable quotations of the year.  By
>>  "notable" I mean "important" or "famous" or "particularly
>>revealing of the spirit of our times" rather than
>>  necessarily being eloquent or admirable.
>I think we might have some late-breaking contenders. Like this one:
>"I've got this thing and it's [bleep]ing golden, and, uh, uh, I'm just
>not giving it up for [bleep]in' nothing. I'm not gonna do it. And, and
>I can always use it. I can parachute me there."
>--Ben Zimmer

Beyond the bleeps and the colorful instance of negative concord (I
was getting tired of "Ain't no cat can't get into no coop" and "I
can't get no satisfaction", so "I'm just not giving it up for
[bleep]in' nothing" will be a breath of fresh air), there's the
curious pronominal in the last sentence, which isn't a personal
dative (no direct object) and isn't a contrastive focus pronominal
("I'm just [bleepin] worrying about *me*").   What it's more like is
the physical displacement pronominals in "Now I lay me down to sleep"
and "I sat me down" (> 15000 google hits; cf. also "I set me down",
with 960 g-hits from country lyrics like "I set me down beside her").
As Gregory Ward just pointed out to me, 'there's a use of the
non-reflexive with verbs of transport. So, you get "I could move me
over two spaces" in an on-line game. Or "I have no trouble taking me
there" (in the context of "Don't go there"). Or "I put me there on
purpose" (in explaining a seating chart). I've always taken these to
be a kind of dual persona use: I'm transporting my physical self to
some location.'


P.S.  There are 3,110 g-hits for "I can parachute me", but
(surprise!) they all seem to be less than two days old.

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

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