Heard on The Judges: new extension?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 14 04:45:58 UTC 2009

I *begged* and *pleaded* that _landlady_ not be eliminated from the
English language and nobody listened. Nw, look at the situation that
we find ourselves in, having to to take into consideration the
possibility that the relevant "landlord" may be female. If I'd been
thinking, I wouldn't have wasted my time posting this note. Well, what
can you do?


On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 12:10 AM, Laurence Horn<laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â Re: Heard on The Judges: new extension?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I just realized that Wilson's example suggests that at least for the
> speaker cited, "is sisters with" *isn't* a symmetric relation,
> assuming the landlord in question is male--although it's also
> possible it's being used sex-neutrally here for a 'female landlord'
> who is sisters (and not just siblings) with Jane.
> LH
> At 9:39 PM -0400 7/13/09, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>At 3:49 PM -0400 7/13/09, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>>Mid-thirty-ish white female "standard" (i.e obviously not a Southern
>>>speaker, but there's no other claim that I can make) speaker:
>>>"Well, our real problem is that Jane _is sisters with the landlord_."
>>>I've heard _BE friends with NP_ probably from birth. But I would expect
>>>"... Jane is the landlord's sister"
>>>in this case. The other version is brand-new to me.
>>Googling turns up instances of "is sisters/brothers/cousins with",
>>although not in huge numbers (a couple thou at most). Â I didn't check
>>to see whether "is sisters/brothers with" is necessarily symmetric or
>>if, say, Shirley McLaine can be "sisters with" Warren Beatty, given
>>that she is indeed a sister of Beatty. Â I suspect it has to be
>>symmetric, although since I've never actually heard it live so I'm
>>just guessing; if I'm right, it's stronger than "is (a) sister of".
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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