Heard on The Judges: sE "there" > BE "it"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 9 17:18:46 UTC 2008

Shit, Ron! Give a brother a break!

"More nearly complete," "complete" being an absolute state, as opposed
to "*more complete" is the way that it was learnt to me, too, though I
rarely use it, for fear of appearing pompous. I'm impressed by your
more-gonadly attitude.


On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 2:11 PM,  <RonButters at aol.com> wrote:
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> Subject:      Heard on The Judges: sE "there" > BE "it"
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> Thanks for the more nearly complete explanation. Still, I expect such a
> person would also say "y'all" under such circumstances, and many would use
> perfective "done." Or multiple modals. Or maybe even the intensifier "plumb." Or add
> "to" after "have" (e.g., "Do you want me to have him to call you?"; "They
> almost had the ceiling to fall on their heads"). I know many many people who speak
> Southern-related dialects who regularly use "it" instead of "that" and many of
> them are highly educated. This is all so well documented in the literature
> that it is not at all remarkable that someone might use any of these forms in a
> relatively formal environment. I imagine there are a lot of white northerners
> who also say "them guys" and "he don't" on court TV. So what?
> In a message dated 5/8/08 1:58:18 PM, hwgray at GMAIL.COM writes:
>> The post is somewhat spare, I must say. What I was getting at was
>> that, even in a more-formal-than-normal environment and under the
>> psychological pressure of having just heard the highest-ranking person
>> in that environment use the standard form, the individual still used
>> the dialect form, indicating - to me, anyhow - that the black speaker
>> was unaware, consciously, that there was any distinction that existed
>> between his syntax and that of the judge. I was once blessed with this
>> lack of awareness.
>> Unfortunately, I'm still cursed with an inability to be consciously
>> aware that other people lack the ability simply to intuit my train of
>> thought. :-(
>> Sorry about that, Ron.
>> -Wilson
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