Take me now, Lord!

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Feb 9 20:02:56 UTC 2006

Well, if you think of a "spell" as like a giant web of magic spider doodoo that you can be hurled into screaming, then the construction makes perfect sense.  There's reason to believe that spider doodoo features prominently in the brains of those who wrote and sing the lines in question.

  The phrase also makes sense if you think a spell is something like a Broadway musical that you can be "cast" in.

  Like "Godspell."


"Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Arnold M. Zwicky"
Subject: Re: Take me now, Lord!

On Feb 7, 2006, at 7:17 PM, Larry Horn wrote:

> At 9:44 PM -0500 2/7/06, Wilson Gray wrote:
>> "'Love Monkey' will cast you in its spell!"
>> Voice-over accompanying an ad for a TV show.
>> -Wilson Gray
> Lovely. I tried googling the phrase, elegant as it is, and found
> exactly two hits, one from a comic review and the other from a movie
> review of "The Human Stain" at a site called...The Dental Arts of
> Plano ("State of the Art with a Heart"):
> This movie will cast you in its spell and surprise you with its
> secrets.
> http://www.aggiedoc.com/view_review.php?viewID=40
> I guess we're in what some would consider SOTA territory here...

well, yet another idiom blend (YAIB?): "cast a spell on/over s.o." +
"catch s.o. in its spell" (the latter idiom can have other verbs, in
particular "have" and "hold", but "catch" is the most likely verb to
be competing with "cast".


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list