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

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jun 27 19:42:22 UTC 2008

At 7:05 AM -0700 6/27/08, James Smith wrote:
>"Let me see that" for "Let me have (hold, examine) that" is common to me.
>White male, 62, UT
>James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
>South SLC, UT                  |it is that we will be sued
>jsmithjamessmith at yahoo.com     |whether we act quickly and decisively
>                                |or slowly and cautiously.
I (same race, sex, and age, different state) share your and Alice's
judgment about "(Here,) let me see those nails" or whatever, meaning
"use", in direct or indirect requests.  But I've never heard this in
the past tense or third person, though--"I saw her nails".  It would
seem very strange to hear "I saw his car keys" or "I let him see my
car keys" with the meaning Wilson attested, "I borrowed his car keys
and took a drive" or "I lent him my car keys and he used them to
drive off".


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

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