I am the Sears Catalog

Donald M. Lance LanceDM at MISSOURI.EDU
Wed Jun 7 02:54:17 UTC 2000

I hang my head in shame for butting in here, but it's also possible that in the original
posting the possibility existed that there was more than one stall but frequently only one
roll of toilet paper, which would then be "the paper." At least, in this scenario, there
would be little opportunity for complaining about whether it rolled over the top or out
from behind the roll--to say nothing about lids.

RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:

> In a message dated 6/6/2000 8:43:11 PM, gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM writes:
> << Again, my earlier posts were not intended to be inflammatory, and I
> apologize if they appeared that way. >>
> Goodness no--this has been a most amusing and enlightening (and polite)
> discussion, as far as I am concerned--enlightening because it makes it so
> very clear how great is the roll of context in the interpretation of
> utterances--including the mental state of the hearer.
> I suspect if John Kennedy had been dressed as a sweet roll he would have been
> understood differently.
> I wonder if Benjamin Barrett is willing to concede that he might just also
> possibly have simply assumed that the speaker made a slip of the tongue? I'm
> certainly willing to concede that--because THE PAPER is idiomatic for
> 'today's newspaper'--I would at least have considered that as a possibility
> (though, again, I would have ruled it out, I think, on the grounds that I did
> not have a newspaper and that people do not ask for newspapers under such
> circumstances--though they might well need to ask for toilet tissue).
> Now what if the speaker had said, "Do you have the catalog"?
> Perhaps I should make it clear that by a mistake in "grammar" I meant simply
> a mistake in the use of the determiner, i.e., the use of THE instead of ANY.

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