basketball --- (blend?)

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Fri Jan 21 07:52:07 UTC 2011

"bigger" merely means "(more) important"--cf "Nobody makes more of the bigger shots." There are two kinds of shots: ordinary shots and bigger shots.

Sent from my iPad

On Jan 20, 2011, at 10:26 PM, "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at MST.EDU> wrote:

> Maybe this is a blend: "Nobody makes bigger shots than..." and "Nobody makes more big shots than..."
> It's not entirely synonymous, but it may be close enough to have blended in the mind of the speaker.
> Gerald Cohen
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society on behalf of Laurence Horn, Thu 1/20/2011 8:47 AM
> At 1:11 AM -0500 1/20/11, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>> I can almost understand what the ESPN announcer was trying to say:
>> "Nobody makes more bigger shots than Chauncy Billups."
>> "More" and "bigger" are meant to be parallel, but it doesn't quite work.
>> One reading would be [more [bigger shots]], but this begs for antecedent
>> for "bigger"--bigger than what? Another reading is "more [and] bigger
>> shots", but this is also odd. One thing that was /not/ implied was the
>> nonstandard [[more bigger] shots]. The actual implication might have
>> been something like, "No one makes more big shots /or/ bigger shots than
>> Chauncy Billups." In other words, he makes a lot of very important
>> shots. But the hyperbolic got lost somewhere in the comparative.
>>    VS-)
> Yes, these have been discussed somewhere among those examples of
> "Escher sentences" that sound fine until you start to try to parse
> them.  Here's a bit of discussion from Language Log on another
> species of this genus:
> Arnold may be able to locate some discussion in the literature of the
> Janus-scale comparatives like Victor's (or the related "Nobody makes
> bigger shots more often than..."); I remember first hearing one from
> Barbara Partee but I don't know if there's a write-up anywhere.
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - <>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list