Heard on The Judges; more "jump on"

Scot LaFaive scotlafaive at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 17 17:31:17 UTC 2008

This is new to me. So when Judge Mathis asked if he had "jumped on" her, he
was asking if he had assaulted her but not assaulted her in a way that would
threaten her life? Basically, whether or not he had "thrown a beating" on


On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 9:26 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 The Judges; more "jump on"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Forty-ish Northern white male plaintiff speaking:
> "[My brother] got into a fight with his wife and she had him arrested,
> your honor."
> Judge Mathis:
> "Did he _jump on_ her?"
> Speaker:
> "No, your honor. He tried to hit her with a tire iron."
> Judge Mathis:
> "You right he didn't _jump on_ her! He tried to *murder* her!"
> My intuition is that the white speaker interpreted _jump on_ as
> referring to a literal "jump" on the wife. That wasn't what happened
> in the literal sense, the brother having used a tire iron, so he
> answered no in a situation in which a black or Southern speaker also
> most likely would have answered no. But the black/Southern speaker
> would have said no not because the brother didn't *literally* _jump
> on_ his wife, but because trying to hit her with a tire iron goes way
> beyond a mere _jump on_, as the judge notes.
> -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

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list