[Ads-l] steal = borrow (intentionally or not)

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Mon Mar 2 16:30:00 UTC 2015

On 2/28/15 12:00 AM, ADS-L automatic digest system wrote:
> Date:    Thu, 26 Feb 2015 22:24:51 -0800
> From:    Benjamin Barrett<gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> Subject: steal = borrow (intentionally or not)
> Yesterday, in a coffee shop, someone asked if they could steal a chair
> from the table where I was sitting.
> This sort of usage is common and while I might have called it jocular in
> the past, I don't see people necessarily smiling anymore when they say
> it. AFAIK, this usage is limited to politeness situations.
It seems similar to the "lie" use for "misremember". Instead of saying, 
"Oh, I was wrong/mistaken, he isn't the actor who played Benson," people 
will say "Oh, I lied, he isn't the actor. . ." when they didn't 
*actually* lie but misrembered, were wrong/mistaken, etc.

---Amy West

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

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