"belong to be"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 23 04:18:54 UTC 2011

On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 10:05 PM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
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> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â "belong to be"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The 1991 film, _Ballad of the Sad Cafe_, based on Carson McCullers' novel,
> is set in 1932 in some especially weird part of rural Georgia, or perhaps in
> a parallel-rural Georgia on Planet X. Â Naturally, they talk funny there.
> Part of the reason that one of them does is that Vanessa Redgrave can't  get
> her rural-Georgia accent quite right. But never mind that. At one point she
> tells no-good Keith Carradine, "You *belong* to be in the penitentiary!"
> He just got out. So the nuance here is "deserve to be."
> OED comes close with def. 4c: "With inf.: to be accustomed, ought; to seem,
> intend. _U.S. dial._" Â "Ought" isn't quite strong enough here, IMHO.
> Part of why I'm posting this is because at first, "belong to be" sounded
> utterly bizarre (Like my first positive "anymore." Ah, youth!) Â But within
> seconds, it seemed so familiar that I thought I'd always known it. A minute
> later, it seemed strange again.These were very odd reactions.
> Does Vanessa's screen usage seem *perfectly normal* to anybody here?
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Cf. also Wright's Dialect Dictionary


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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