being a guy and girl

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Fri May 15 11:48:33 UTC 2009

there are ways to get "a guy and girl" -- by by "conjunction
reduction", as a shorter version of "a guy and a girl", as in "A guy
and girl were sitting together on the bench". but here's an odder
instance, from a story on Explorer Scouts in yesterday's New York
Times (front page):

   "This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl," said A.
J. Lowenthal, a sheriff's deputy here in Imperial County [California],
whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps

of course, this comes in the heat of speech.  with some time to think
about it, he might have framed it in the plural: "being true-blooded
American guys and girls" (or possibly in a disjunction: "being a true-
blooded American guy or girl").


The American Dialect Society -

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