Wait, what? Is it just me?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue Sep 4 01:18:22 UTC 2012

I find the "but" in the Atlantic perhaps a bit odder than John
does.  All I can do with it is contrast the "un-addicted" siblings
with the "addicted", but the grammatical contrast is between "a
traumatic childhood" and "impulsivity and compulsive behavior"
--which they all shared.

The sentence from Time seems unremarkable to me too, although a
clearer comparison would not have put an apple ([absence of] flood
damage) on one side and an orange (deaths) on the other.


At 9/3/2012 08:37 PM, Baker, John wrote:
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
>Although that's an odd use of "but" in The Atlantic,  the sentence
>from Time seems to me completely unremarkable.  I have no trouble
>seeing the contrast between New Orleans, where most levees held
>(implying relatively little damage), and the more problematic
>situation in Haiti, where the hurricane cause multiple deaths and
>presumably other harm as well.
>John Baker
>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
>Behalf Of Wilson Gray
>Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2012 9:33 PM
>Subject: Wait, what? Is it just me?
>Or is stuff like this bizarre?
>The Atlantic:
>"The un-addicted siblings may have shared a traumatic childhood with
>their addicted brothers and sisters, but they all displayed signs of
>impulsivity and compulsive behavior."
>"Although most levees in the New Orleans area held, Hurricane Isaac
>claimed at least 24 lives in Haiti."
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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