Having cake . . .

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon Sep 24 18:39:23 UTC 2007

On Sep 24, 2007, at 9:48 AM, Charlie Doyle wrote:

> This morning's campus newspaper has a filler item from AP:
> Residents of a "senior center" in New York State are protesting a
> recent ban on doughnuts at the facility. In the accompanying
> picture, beside a demonstrater holding a neatly-printed sign that
> reads "We're Old Enough to Choose" stands another with a sign
> inscribed "We Want our Cake and Eat It Too!!" Interesting grammar.

maybe a telescoping of "want to have our cake and eat it too".
perhaps distantly related to GoToGo ("I'm going right out and buy
myself a new stepladder" -- Jimmy Stewart's character in Vertigo).
classic GoToGo has the motion verb GO in the present participle, with
a direction adverbial, but there are innovative variants with other
motion verbs and variants without the adverbial.  and then Laura
Staum reported the following on 9/14:

This was so good I almost wasn't sure it was one. Comes from a flyer
that a local realtor left on our doorstep:

If you are interested in buying or selling and save lots of money...
I'd love the opportunity to make your dreams come true!

AMZ reply 9/15:

wow.  *way* far off  the canonical examples.  "V-ing and V-base",
with the first verb not a verb of motion and with the V-ing nominal
rather than verbal (progressive).


Joel Wallenberg once suggested there might be a tendency towards
using V-base in second conjuncts -- sort of V-base as a conjunctive
verb form.  there are parallels in many languages.


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list