so, that happened

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 26 20:19:36 UTC 2010

I get a sense that here "that happens" has the same sense as "shit
happens" rather than "THAT happened". This is actually the reason that
it is hard to separate these instances in printed text--I discarded most
of the occurrences that I found and even the second one I listed I am
not sure of--"that happens", in that case, is a link to the description
of the underlying event. There is no question, however, about the first
citation--the writer took care to highlight his emphasis.

As for the structure, "{X went wrong.} (Well/So), that happen(ed/s)," it
appears to me to be perfectly ordinary.

There is a citation to a Borges interview (1967) that easily exemplifies
yet another type--"{You don't think X is possible?}. Well, that
(actually) happened." This is often followed by a PP (in place Y OR in
time Z), but also appears in the truncated form.
> Burgin: This feeling of wanting to undo something or to change
> something in the past also gets into "The Waiting."
> Borges:  Well, that happened. No, because the story, well, of course,
> I can't remember what the man felt at the end, but the idea of a man
> who went into hiding and was found out after a long time, this
> happened. It happened,I think it was a Turk and his enemies were also
> Turks.


On 2/26/2010 2:51 PM, Dan Goncharoff wrote:
> Present tense:  "Well, that happens."
> "Gimme that. Big deal. We fight a little bit? You show me a family that
> doesn't. But we got something special. What is it? We're here to make a
> movie. Can't use the Old Mill. Well, that happens. What you got to do, you
> find the *essence*-- what was it, that brought us here. It wasn't the
> building Joe, it was an idea. It was an essence--what is the essence of your
> story? Joe?"
> DanG

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