Something else!

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Sep 16 01:49:01 UTC 2009

At 9:25 PM -0400 9/15/09, Wilson Gray wrote:
>  >From the Times of New York:
>"_It is quite something else_ for the very management that is accused
>of having lied to its shareholders to determine how much of those
>victims' money should be used to make the case against the management
>go away," Judge [Jed S. Rakoff wrote.
>This use of _something else_ really *is* something else. Of course, if
>there were more context, it might turn out to be merely apparent [Take
>that, Joel!] that the judge has so internalized this slang expression
>as to use it in formal writing without noticing it and redacting it.

No Wilson, I'm afraid I'll have to disappoint you
(and myself).  As you suspected, this quote is
linked anaphorically, although not in the Times
excerpt.  The full(er) context is:

"It is one thing for management to exercise its
business judgemtn to determine how much of its
shareholders [sic] money should be used to settle
a case brought by former shareholders or third
parties. It is quite something else for... [etc.
as supra]"

No slang here from Judge Rakoff, however angry he
may have been.  But his name reminds me of the
old days in generative grammar circles when the
two bĂȘte noires of generative semantics, the
movement of anti-Chomskyan dissenters, were
(George) Lakoff and (Haj) Ross, but sometimes
(deliberately or not) Spoonerized to Rakoff and
Loss.  Seems very appropriate under the current


The American Dialect Society -

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