[Ads-l] Facebook and "via"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Aug 1 19:10:55 UTC 2015


> On Aug 1, 2015, at 12:19 PM, Joel Berson <berson at att.net> wrote:
> 
> For me, an additional problem with Bernie Sanders "from Brooklyn via Vermont" is that I think of "via" as connoting "a step in transit" -- that is, Sanders originated in Brooklyn, and went via Vermont to somewhere else.  But Sanders is still in (or "of", as a Senator) Vermont.
> 
> Joel

True, maybe I'd have opted for "by way of" rather than "via" here.  But the original doesn't strike me as that odd--maybe he's considered to be in Washington now, as you suggest, so Vermont is indeed a way-station en route from Brooklyn to D.C.  Doesn't help that the OED gloss for "via" is 

By way of; by the route which passes through or over (a specified place)

None of the cites involve the locution "(X is) from Y via Z", so no help there.  But clearly if I were to go to Brooklyn via Vermont, it's Vermont that would be a way-station en route to Brooklyn, not vice versa.  Maybe it would be different if I used Facebook.

LH



> 
>      From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
> Sent: Saturday, August 1, 2015 12:01 PM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Facebook
> 
>> On Aug 1, 2015, at 11:40 AM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>> On Sat, Aug 1, 2015 at 11:02 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>> 
>>>> On Aug 1, 2015, at 1:00 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> "[Bernie Sanders,] a 73-year-old Jew _from Brooklyn via Vermont_ ..."
>>>> 
>>>> Shouldn't that be
>>>> 
>>>> "... a 73-year-old Jew _from Vermont via Brooklyn_ ..."?
>>>> 
>>>> Or have I, once again, fallen behind the curve of language-change?
>>> 
>>> Ah, another reversal?  Actually, I think I'd go for _from Brooklyn via
>>> Vermont_.  For me the "via" is 'by way of', so I'd take someone who told
>>> me he was from Vermont via Brooklyn as saying he started out in Vermont
>>> and spent some time in Brooklyn (probably Williamsburg, the most
>>> Vermonty neighborhood of Brooklyn) before getting here.  Someone from
>>> Vermont via Brooklyn would talk the way someone from Brooklyn (via
>>> anywhere) like Bernie does.  Haven't checked OED to see what sort of
>>> glosses and cites they show, this is just my own intuition.  Has there
>>> been a change of the "substitute" kind here?
>> 
>> Facebook may be contributing to confusion over the direction of "via,"
>> as noted by Barbara Need back in 2010.
> 
> Aha!  That explains it.  Wilson is on Facebook, so he's adopted the innovative form.  I'm not, so I haven't.  Finally I get to be an older fogey than Wilson!
> 
> LH
> 
>> Thread starts here:
>> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__listserv.linguistlist.org_pipermail_ads-2Dl_2010-2DFebruary_096519.html&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=5FxhOmLeQa1Kzo7c5j_t3oI_vLoWaa4HgnwnAF9rCzM&s=p0aWZSghkeDMiSesr0KcAMUf3qjCdU93ckL_RQyjOfo&e= 
>> 
>> Barbara: "I am getting FB updates labeled X via Y where  message is
>> posted by X who got it from Y.  (So if a link is put up marked John
>> via Mary then John is a person you know and is the immediate source of
>> the link; you may or may not know Mary and she is John's source). I
>> can't get that and the OED definition does not seem to work either. I
>> would have to say either John from Mary or Mary via John."
>> 
>> Victor S: "It's not obvious from FB PR, but this is a recent addition.
>> This only happens when X clicks on 'share this' on something that has
>> been posted by Y. Normally, I would have expected [From] Y * via X,
>> but the full FB syntax appears to be X [got this] * via Y. If you
>> interpret it this way, there is nothing new to 'via'. I've been using
>> it on FB for a long time, e.g., when posting the original links I got
>> from other people or from blogs. But the new part is the FB now does
>> this automatically when you click on 'Share this' link."
>> 
>> Barbara: "Except that you have to intuit [got this]--and I don't. I
>> intuit [sent this]."
>> 
>> --bgz
>> 
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