no fun with pronouns

Ronald Butters ronbutters at AOL.COM
Tue Dec 7 18:19:38 UTC 2010

Where is the "pronominal confusion"? There are only two pronouns, both of which refer to some person who was mentioned in context that Victor does not give. Even "the man who has angered Washington" is clearly a deictic reference to the same person. There is nothing remarkable or noteworthy whatever about the sentence (except that we are not given the immediately preceding context). f

On Dec 7, 2010, at 10:33 AM, Robin Hamilton wrote:

> It's rather endearing, though.  For pronominal confusion, it rivals the
> Anglo-Saxon Chronicle entry for 755 on Cynewulf and Cyneheard.  But that
> particular entry may have been based on a lost oral alliterative text.
> Dunno what excuse MSNBC have.
> (We may also have the earliest recorded instance of a bran-new sex-crime --
> wilfully spilling secrets on the Internet.)
> Robin
> _____________________________________________
> ------Original Message------
> From: Victor Steinbok
> Sender: ADS-L
> To: ADS-L
> ReplyTo: ADS-L
> Subject: [ADS-L] fun with pronouns
> Sent: Dec 7, 2010 6:00 AM
> MSNBC's article on Asange's arrest contains the following sentence:
>> His lawyer had earlier arranged to deliver him to British police for
>> questioning in a sex-crimes investigation of the man who has angered
>> Washington by spilling thousands of government secrets on the Internet.
> "His", "him" and "man who..." all refer to the same person.

The American Dialect Society -

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