"Does anybody remember laughter?"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Nov 10 16:01:47 UTC 2005

>I wonder how universal this distinction ever was. There must always
>have been speakers who were insensitive to nuances of this sort.
>Certainly there were plenty in the NYC around 1960 who didn't
>obviously observe the distinction.
>Even "bang" and "screw" have been used transitively with female subjects.
>Grammatical subjects.

I actually got a lot of flak from students in language and gender
classes when I used the data from that paper (and the Baker one I
mentioned in my last note).  I agree with Jon that the distinctions
Quang draws may have been, as it were, overblown.  There are also
other parameters not considered therein: male/female vs.
penetrator/penetratee (cf. same-sex coupling) vs.
initiator/initiatee.  Perhaps in the canonical case these may have
coincided, but that leaves out quite a lot of variation.


>Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender: American Dialect Society
>Poster: Wilson Gray
>Subject: "Does anybody remember laughter?"
>Does anybody else recall when men "laid" and only women "got laid"?
>How about the article in _Studies From Left Field_ (1971) in which the
>sentence, "John fucked Mary," is accepted as grammatical, whereas the
>sentence, "Mary fucked John," is marked as ungrammatical?
>-Wilson Gray
>  Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

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