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

LanDi Liu strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jun 29 12:42:13 UTC 2008

They aren't talking about "let + NP + see"; they're talking about "let
(someone) see NP".

I heard this a lot growing up in Cincinnati, OH.  I do remember as a
child, playing on the words.  For example someone would ask someone
else to "see" something (meaning to hold it or use it), and the other
person would hold it up for them.  When the first person complained,
the person with the desired object would teasingly say "you said
'see', not 'hold' (or 'use')!".

I wouldn't consider it non-standard.  If someone asked me to see
something that I had, I would hand it over, unless I didn't want them


On Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 8:49 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm with you on your whole first sentence, but as far as I can tell, "I saw
> his car keys" isn't in this race at all. Wilson & James refer only to the
> construction "let" + NP + "see".
> -- Mark
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Randy Alexander
Jilin City, China
My Manchu studies blog:

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

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