[Ads-l] to truth-tell

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 2 13:51:32 EST 2020


Well, extrapolating from Mark’s original post, I’d say it’s blocked by the verb “to lie”, while there’s no corresponding verb “to truth”.  Not clear what “to lie-tell” would communicate that “to lie” wouldn’t.

LH


> On Dec 2, 2020, at 1:39 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> Any Google hits for to "lie-tell"?
> 
> If not, why not?
> 
> JL
> 
> On Wed, Dec 2, 2020 at 9:40 AM MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY CCDC
> AVMC (USA) <0000099bab68be9a-dmarc-request at listserv.uga.edu> wrote:
> 
>> 
>> 
>>> Although if we stick to the transitive verb construction (as I suspect
>> JL would have us do),
>>> we have the nice minimal pair:
>>> "to tell *the* truth” vs. “to tell *a* lie”
>>> —lots of alternatives to the truth, but no alternative truths (or facts)
>> 
>> Which is why the "tell my truth", "tell her truth" construction is so
>> rankling, I suppose.
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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