guy = 'thing'

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Feb 1 15:15:40 UTC 2014

On Feb 1, 2014, at 3:18 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 5:07 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at>wrote:
>> Common for a long time in ref. to material objects.
> It was hip in the MIT linguistics dept. in the late '70's, even in
> reference to abstract objects, like the parts of speech: "it's clearly the
> case that this guy is ungrammatical in the relevant environment." WTF?! :-(

Hah.  I was going to mention that too, in particular "guy" for a constituent in a tree ("you raise this guy up to the main clause object position"), something I recall from Haj Ross's classes in particular.  This is mentioned in some of the discussions of sex-neutral "guy" as well, possibly in that Clancy paper in American Speech ("The ascent of 'guy'").


> It annoyed the hell out of me, especially when the foreign - uh, I mean
> *international* - students picked it up. There wasn't anything that I could
> do about it, of course, voice crying in the desert and all that.
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> 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 -

The American Dialect Society -

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