Heard on The Judges: "let someone see NP" = "let someone borrow NP"

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Fri Jun 27 13:54:26 UTC 2008

Wilson Gray wrote:
> Twenty-ish black female speaker:
> "I _let him see my car keys_ and he took my car and let it get
> wrecked! It was totaled, your honor."
> "Let someone see NP" is new to me. From my childhood to today, the
> more usual expression is "let someone hold NP," in the sense of "let
> someone borrow NP."

I'm getting work done on my house, and the guys doing the work (white,
middle-aged, from CT) regularly holler at each other "can I see X?" or
"let me see X" when they want to use X (sponge, hammer, bucket, etc.).

Alice Faber                                    faber at haskins.yale.edu
Haskins Laboratories                           tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                        fax (203) 865-8963

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

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