"drunk riding"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Sep 1 20:33:09 UTC 2009

At 4:57 PM -0300 9/1/09, David A. Daniel wrote:
>Well, I remember specifically that when my buddies and I were teenagers in
>the 60's, one of our number insisted on saying "I drove over here" when he
>had come on his motorbike. We razzed and ridiculed him mercilessly, telling
>him in no uncertain terms that, "no, you did not drive over here, you RODE
>over here." One drove a car and rode a motocycle/bike. Even now, if I try
>out the phrase "I'm gonna drive my motorcycle" it just sounds too weird -
>you don't drive a bike, you ride a bike, whether motorized or not - and I
>would bet it sounds too weird to most, if not virtually all, bikers nowadays
>as well. Thus, cop giving drunken biker a drunken riding ticket makes
>perfect sense to me. (BTW, I believe that in many places now you can get one
>of these for being drunk on a horse, too. Bicycle too? Dunno, but would not
>surprise me.)

What about driving cattle drunk?  And on the other hand, is there
drunk piloting (for those at the wobbly helm of a motorboat)?


>We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there
>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
>Wilson Gray
>Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 4:28 PM
>Subject: Re: "drunk riding"
>I share your confusion! A drunk riding alone on a motorcycle isn't
>just *riding* drunk. He's also *driving* drunk on a motorcycle, (it)
>seem like to me, (as we say in ETX BE; sometimes, it annoys me that I
>have not the least idea of what the local white dialect is/was like,
>thanks to the *rigid*, Deep-South-style segregation practiced in
>Marshall in my day; sadly, according to the blog, _I'm from Marshall,
>Texas_, written by a white woman, things really haven't changed much,
>since she makes a point of calling Marshall "racist") just as a drunk
>riding alone in a car is driving it. Why bleep with the language over
>this triviality?
>On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 8:30 PM, Jonathan Lighter<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
>>  Subject:      "drunk riding"
>>  I had to see a current public service ad warning against "drunk riding"
>>  three or four times before I oculd figure it out.  First I thought it
>>  that it was now unlawful even to ride as a vehicle's passenger if you were
>>  drunk.
>>  Stranger laws have been passed.
>>  But on my latest viewing I realized that the cop in the ad is busting a
>>  drunk who's riding a motorcycle.
>>  Get it? Get it?  "Riding" a motorcycle!
>>  What does it mean?  That law enforcement now believes (or, worse, knows)
>>  that there are people who think "riding drunk" (on a motorcycle)  is OK
>>  because they distinguish "driving" from that kind of "riding"?  (The biker
>>  in the ad isn't carrying a passenger, just a helmet full of beer.)
>>  What's the answer? Is this a SOTA?
>>  JL
>>  --
>>  "There You Go Again...Using Reason on the Planet of the Duck-Billed
>>  Platypus"
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
>to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>-Mark Twain
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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