Already use < Spanish ya?

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Oct 22 23:19:22 UTC 2008

I should have explained that the ellipsis simply indicates there's a

In any case, this sounds borderline at best to me. "Already" in this
sort of use implies to me that there is a prior expectation that
something will be possible in the future and the already means that
contrary to the future expectation, it's true in the present. Because
with Mencia, there's no implication that making fun of handicapped
people will be possible in the future, it seems wrong to me. BB

On Oct 22, 2008, at 11:11 AM, Mark Mandel wrote:

> I don't hear it as odd at all. "I want to X" implies that the speaker
> is not yet X-ing, and "already S" implies that S is true, possibly
> contrary to expectations. I don't know what's behind the ellipsis, but
> it's no long jump from "I'm not yet X-ing" to "You're not X-ing".
> Making fun of handicapped people is taboo, but the point here is that
> there's (already) at least one handicapped person who it's NOT taboo
> to mock, so "You already can."
> Mark Mandel
> On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 10:20 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at
> > wrote:
>> Honduran-Mexican Ned Mencia (aka Carlos Mencia), raised in Los
>> Angeles, has a rerun of "Mind of Mencia" tonight "Performance
>> Enhanced". The advertisement is (or something close to):
>> "I want to make fun of handicapped people...You already can. Our
>> president's retarded."
>> This "already" sounds odd to me. If it's not common use, it occurred
>> to me that maybe it's from Spanish "ya". BB

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list