Lost? No, the laptop's not *lost*

Mark A. Mandel Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Mon Jul 23 18:01:08 UTC 2001

Mai Kuha <mkuha at BSUVC.BSU.EDU> writes:

Attorney General John Ashcroft's term for the FBI's lost guns and
laptop(s): "assets that are not subject to location"
...perhaps a handy way to discourage people from jumping into the
conclusion that someone could be blamed for this characteristic associated
with certain objects.

Maybe he means a passive nomen actionis = 'being located'. In other words,
removing the agent (I mean grammatically!), the modal, and the
responsibility from "We can't find it":
     X {can't/doesn't/shouldn't/doesn't have to} find it.

   Mark A. Mandel : Dragon Systems, a Lernout & Hauspie company
          Mark_Mandel at dragonsys.com : Senior Linguist
 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02460, USA : http://www.dragonsys.com
                     (speaking for myself)

More information about the Ads-l mailing list