Verbless slogans - A new trend?

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Fri Nov 30 23:27:17 UTC 2001

Careful you don't confuse r-lessness (we ready) with copula deletion
(we ready).


>They didn't choose this phrase, but I would certainly assume they knew what
>they meant when they chose "We ready" (and would if they chose "We be
>ready" too).  Since white Southerners often delete the copula too (listen
>to Trent Lott), I would think the phrase would be comprehensible all around.
>At 06:37 PM 11/30/01 +0000, you wrote:
>>I noticed that eight of thirteen players on last year's
>>UCharleston team were African American, as well as the
>>head coach.  If the ratio is close to that this year
>>too, is it possible that the team knew what they meant
>>by "we be ready"?
>>Herb Stahlke
>>>  From my own experience, I would suggest the following:
>>>  "We be ready" wouldn't be appropriate when referring to future events
>>>  plans for the whole year) since the statement indicates a general present
>>>  habitual state, based on past [before the moment of speaking] occurrences
>>>  (e.g.,  Whenever we have to play the Tigers, we be ready" [="Every time we
>>>  play the Tigers, we are ready" or "Every time we played the Tigers, we were
>>>  ready" or  "Every time we've played the Tigers, we have been ready."])  "We
>>>  ready" (=We are ready) is the better choice since it indicates a present
>>>  state of physical or mental preparedness for whatever happens in the
>>near or
>>>  distant future.  P-A-T
>Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
>Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
>Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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