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

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 2 19:42:43 UTC 2015


I look at both the "steal" and the "lie" as exaggerations for the sake of
simplicity.

In the real world there are often complications. There are also strangers
one is impelled to interact with. The exaggerations create extreme
situations that it is hoped obviate the need to explain those complications.

DanG

On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 11:30 AM, Amy West <medievalist at w-sts.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
> Subject:      Re: steal = borrow (intentionally or not)
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> 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
>
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