"neck in neck" revisited

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Oct 31 00:12:27 UTC 2011

We've discussed this reanalysis before (I mentioned it in my 2004 "Spitten image" paper and Ben has discussed it as well), but I've never seen an "official" use.  Tonight on ABC's World News Tonight, a story about Cain and Romney polling something like 23% and 22% respectively was subtitled "NECK IN NECK".  While other cases sort of make sense--I can imagine a perfectly good story for both "hand in glove" and "hand and glove"--this one really doesn't to me.  Well, it makes good phonological sense, just not good semantic sense.

As a bonus datum, on tonight's "Footbsll Night in America" on NBC, a highlight was played and Rodney Harrison, ex-football star now serving as one of the commentators, responded "THAT's what I'm talking about".  Neither he nor anyone else had been talking about anything directly related to the referent, so it was definitely an instance of what we've been talking about.


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

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