"It says here"

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Mon Aug 20 23:53:23 UTC 2001

  P-A-T writes:

>In the contexts in which I've heard, "It says here," used, "it" was not used
>in a nonreferential sense; rather, it was a specific reference to an
>unidentified source (one that the speaker may not have mentioned because
>(s)he either knew the source and did not think it important to mention; was
>not sure of the source; or, as Murie suggested, knew of no such source, but
>wanted to lend credibility to his/her own opinion. ~~~~~~~~~~~
Huh? Not me. What I said, was: "(allowing) a range of possible
interpretations from mild doubt about the truth to wild laughter at the
absurdity of whatever had been said."
Some of the problem here, I think, is that we've been talking about two
different "it says here"s.  One is introductory and one, as Peter McGraw's
father's example does, follows the doubtful statement, making a little
commentary en passant.
The Adelaide's Lament example could be a hybrid.  Frank Loesser when he
wrote that recitatif would hardly have been unaware of the ironic  or
facetious uses of the expression which were common at that time.
It could be imaginary, but I can hear both Groucho and Jack Benny using "it
says here" in this way.
A. Murie

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