I am the Sears Catalog

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Wed Jun 7 16:44:21 UTC 2000

"the roll of context"? Wonderful!

At 10:07 PM 6/6/00 -0400, you 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.

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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