[Ads-l] Irish bull: I don't like spinach, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked it I'd eat it, and I just hate it

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 12 10:48:30 EDT 2017


Garner's Modern American Usage (2009) by Bryan Garner presents an
entertaining example of an "Irish bull".

[Begin excerpt]
Irish bull. A statement that is incongruous, ludicrous, or logically
absurd, often unintentionally. Irish bulls are usually found in
speech, but they occasionally make their way into print. Examples: . .
.

I don't like spinach, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked it I'd
eat it, and I just hate it. (Clarence Darrow [1857–1938])
[End excerpt]

I was asked to explore the remark attributed to Darrow and found a
French instance written in a private journal by George Sand circa
1835: "je serais bien fâchée d’aimer les épinards, car si je les
aimais, j’en mangerais, et je ne les peux souffrir".

https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/10/09/spinach/

This is humor for people who struggle with the semantics of possible worlds.

Feedback welcome
Garson

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list