[Ads-l] It were

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Thu Sep 24 17:23:14 UTC 2015


Also, "it" is used as the dummy pronoun in that expletive construction in some varieties of English though I think it unlikely to take plural agreement with following NP.

Matt
________________________________________
From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Laurence Horn [laurence.horn at YALE.EDU]
Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2015 11:13 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: It were

> On Sep 24, 2015, at 12:01 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at MST.EDU> wrote:
>
> Fwiw, this is a standard construction in German: Es waren...
> G. Cohen

Or, given the uses of that German construction, you could invoke a Jerry Cohen-style syntactic blend:  "It was Clinton supporters behind it" + "There were Clinton supporters behind it".  (The "there" expletive/dummy in English, like the "es" expletive/dummy in German, takes plural agreement when it stands in for a plural subject.)  On the other hand, maybe it was a typo/thinko.

LH
> ________________________________________
> Jonathan Lighter wrote (Thursday, September 24, 2015 5:34 AM):
> Highly paid CNN anchor (slightly paraphrased from memory):
> "It *were* Clinton supporters behind it, though not Clinton or her
> campaign."
> Emphasis in original.
> JL
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