Having cake . . .

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Sep 24 18:58:27 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.
Including the classic example of non-connectivity in VP-fronting, as
in "He said he would eat the cake, and eat the cake he has" (where
"...and eaten the cake he has" is downright weird).  Not quite the
same phenomenon, but related.


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list