What on Earth??

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Mon Oct 17 17:09:17 UTC 2011

On Oct 11, 2011, at 11:31 AM, Victor Steinbok wrote:

> I couldn't make out the meaning of this sentence when I saw it in Google
> News:
>> Sixty percent of Americans do, surveys show, and 20 percent think
>> aliens live among us disguised as humans.
> When going to the page [ http://goo.gl/r44RG ], I realized that there
> was another sentence that did not show up in the abstract:
>> Think thereā€šs life on other planets?
> So the other sentence was answering the question... It still looks odd
> to me, even though now I know what it is saying.

odd in what way?  it strikes me as an utterly ordinary ellipsis in context, in a follow-up to the truncated question "Think there's life on other planets?"  along the lines of:

Believe in ghosts? Lots of people do.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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