doing stupid

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jul 1 14:40:42 UTC 2009

At 10:27 AM -0400 7/1/09, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 12:54 AM -0400 7/1/09, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>>Of potential interest: my Language Log post about Gov. Mark Sanford's latest
>>admission, "Have I done stupid? I have."
>>--Ben Zimmer
>>The American Dialect Society -
>cf. also "stupid is as stupid does", which can be interpreted with OV
>inversion (= if x does stupid, x is stupid)
I should have mentioned that while this line was either invented or
popularized (Fred?) by Forrest Gump as a take-off on the older
"Handsome is as handsome does" (somehow that one sounds as though it
belongs in the mouth of one of Jane Austen's unsympathetic snippy
minor female characters), it also evokes another New Testatment line
to join the ones Ben mentioned:
"By their fruits shall ye know them":

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns,
or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree
bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree
bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast
into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew 7: 16-20, KJB

The American Dialect Society -

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