Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Feb 29 15:36:20 UTC 2008

At 10:13 AM -0500 2/29/08, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>At 2/29/2008 09:54 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>... For me, "What are you jumping on me for?" is as unexceptional as
>>"...jumping all over..."  No implication that anyone's bones are
>>being jumped (even in contexts lacking the incest angle).
>In most contexts I would take "jump on" similarly, as "To pounce
>upon, come down upon with violence or unawares."

Actually, in the uses I'm familiar with, there's no physical violence
involved, the attack in question being emotional, psychological, or
intellectual, often amounting to garden-variety criticism--"A number
of respondents jumped on Smith for unfounded theoretical assumptions,
logical inconsistencies, and empirical errors".

Googling "Hillary jumped on Obama", I find:

Remember when Hillary jumped on Obama for being associated with a
"slum lord" during the debate?

To me it appears that the whole thing started when Hillary jumped on
Obama and claimed he was comparing himself to JFK and MLK.

I think the defining moment of last night's debate was when Hillary
jumped on Obama, ate his eyeballs, and then screamed to the audience,
"I am unstoppable!"

I don't actually recall this last episode actually occurring, but
that may have been one of the debates I skipped.

Here are a couple more campaign jump-ons with the roles reversed:

Thr answer to your question Bee is after Obama jumped on Hillary for
not answering a very difficult question and be ready with a perfect

In Philadelphia on Tuesday, Russert didn't get quite as fresh, but he
didn't have to, as John Edwards and Obama jumped on Hillary from the

Obama jumped on Clinton's comment, saying that "it offended some
folks who felt that somehow diminished King's role..."

With the exception of the eyeball-eating incident, the other
instances of jumping-on are all non-physical.


>  But in an earlier
>example from Wilson, I would certainly wonder which meaning Mathis meant.
>Wilson had written:
>>On the Judge Greg Mathis show appeared a white, standard-speaking
>>woman with her sixteen-year-old son and a white, standard-speaking
>>woman with her fifteen-year-old daughter. The boy's mother complained
>>that the other woman's daughter had deprived her son of his virginity.
>>The girl's mother replied that the son had gone upside her daughter's
>>Nothing gives Judge Mathis the jaws more than hearing that a man has
>>abused a woman in any manner. So, before the boy's mother could reply,
>>the judge angrily interrupted, saying, "That soun' like assault to me!
>>Let me hear 'bout this boy _jumpin' on_ that girl!"
>>>On Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 11:44 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>>>  -----------------------
>>>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>>>  Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>>>>  Subject:      Heard on tonight's Without a Trace
>>>>  The show is set in New York City.
>>>>  Ex-con white mother to shoplifting son:
>>>>  "What are you *doing*?! Are you *crazy*?!"
>>>>  Son replies:
>>>>  "What are you _jumping on_ *me* for?! *You* did it [broke the law], too!"
>>>>  Of course, the *writer* could be Southern or black.
>>>>  -Wilson
>>>>  --
>>>>  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
>>>Randy Alexander
>>>Jilin City, China
>>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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