"own it for a limited time"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Feb 27 02:30:11 UTC 2006

At 8:55 PM -0500 2/26/06, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>Disney only releases its classic movies on DVD for brief periods in
>order to boost demand, with _The Lady and the Tramp_ the latest to get
>this treatment. A commercial currently running for the DVD exhorts,
>"Own it for a limited time!"
>Has the verb "own" shifted while I wasn't looking, from 'possess' to
Very elegant.  I'd say that "for a limited time" modifies not the
only extant verb here, "own", but the covert ability modal
corresponding to what Searle would call the preparatory condition of
the exhortation or invitation, i.e.

"For a limited time, you can own it."


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

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