does anyone need another example of positive ANYMORE?

Dennis Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Fri Feb 15 12:21:14 UTC 2008

I'm saving this exchange as the best example of point-of-view
difference in textual interpretation I've seen in a long time. For
Wilson it is a put-down of the minority as untrustworthy but for
James a justifiable come-uppance for the majority figure.

Although "readers" rather than "texts" turn out to be the determining
factor here, ya'll (y'all) need not worry; I ain't going post-Modern
on you.


>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       James Harbeck <jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA>
>Subject:      Re: does anyone need another example of positive ANYMORE?
>>I heard the punchline ca.1944 as "What you mean, 'we,' white man?" And
>>no mention was made of weapons. Of course, such jokes have many
>>different versions. I heard it in Saint Louis from a white neighbor
>>boy and I took its point to be that, when the deal goes down, white
>>people can not trust the non-white and I didn't find it humorous at
>Hm. I took no such general point from it. To me it was specifically
>about the characters in question. I've never idolized the Lone
>Ranger; to me he's, if anything, more a figure of fun. In the
>situation in question, the Indians are probably angry with him for
>shooting a lot of them, which seems justifiable to me. I tend to
>think of the punch line whenever someone wants to include me by
>assumption in what I see as perhaps not the right side of the debate.
>In other words, I'm identifying with Tonto. Enough with this Lone
>Ranger dude! He can get his own ass out of this mess, I'm not
>covering for him this time.
>Thanks for the reminder, though, that not everyone sees these things
>from the same perspective.
>James Harbeck.
>The American Dialect Society -

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48864 USA

The American Dialect Society -

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