another meaning reversal

Rick Barr rickbarremail at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 26 13:40:31 UTC 2010

A line in a movie reminded me of this discussion (i.e., of expressions like
"could care less" and "so much of a peep"). Perhaps it was another example
of a conscious meaning reversal, perhaps it was just a slip that made it
past the director and the scriptwriters.

The actor who said it was Rob Schneider, and the movie was *Grown-Ups*(2010):
"I don't even hardly know them."
(The character is referring to his daughters.)

To my surprise, there are seven hits for that phrase in Google (unrelated to
the movie).

-- Rick

On Sat, May 22, 2010 at 11:20 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: another meaning reversal
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 10:28 PM -0400 5/22/10, victor steinbok wrote:
> >Yes, thanks! I noticed it, but as soon as I went to look for a
> >standard example, I forgot to mention it.
> >
> >VS-)
> That could be relevant, but the first few pages of "so much of a
> peep" have only one example of the kind below--the one Victor cites.
> The others all involve negative polarity licensers (overt negation,
> "without", "never", "if", "yet to", etc.).  Volokh's is either a typo
> or an outlier.
> LH
> >
> >On Sat, May 22, 2010 at 9:04 PM, Gordon, Matthew J.
> ><GordonMJ at> wrote:
> >>
> >>  It might be important that in the example that Victor cited it's
> >>"so much OF a peep" not "so much as a peep." Thus, it's
> >>interpretable as "something that is very peep-like," in other words
> >>it was only a peep and nothing louder.
> >>
> >>  -Matt Gordon

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