Is this a good sentence?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jan 18 21:39:03 UTC 2013

And T.O.'s "I love me some me" would have been a good QOTY the year the T-shirt* spinoff came on the market--,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.41248874,d.cWE&fp=94e32a4cea89f529&biw=1151&bih=659

--but it's too late now. He's not even in the league anymore.

[* If the URL is too unwieldy, just google "I love me some me" + "shirt"]

On Jan 18, 2013, at 4:07 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> So it's ineligible for QOTY.
> Damn.
> JL
> On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at>wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>> Subject:      Re: Is this a good sentence?
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> On Jan 18, 2013, at 11:49 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>> At 1/18/2013 11:04 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>>> On Jan 18, 2013, at 10:56 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>>>> This is so far out of my dialect that I feel I'm
>>>>> again in the Northern Scottish Isles and can't
>>>>> understand the speaker.  Please translate into
>>>>> standard New Yorkese (my dialect is pretty circumcised):
>>>>> "I love me some him."
>>>> 'I love him' (but the personal dative does
>>>> contribute a nuance typically described as
>>>> "subject involvement" or "benefactive", which is
>>>> why "I hate me some him" is much more marked)
>>>>> "This is dedicated to those who love themselves some heavy metal."
>>>> or as noted, "…to those who love them some heavy
>>>> metal", which is more natural for the actual
>>>> dialects in which this construction is at home
>>>> Again, just delete the pseudo-indirect-object.
>>>> You can if you like this of this as the
>>>> transitive counterpart of "Now I lay me down to
>>>> sleep" or "Hie thee hence", and there are many
>>>> cross-linguistic analogues (as in French "Je me
>>>> bois un verre")--all discussed in more detail than you want at the
>> below links.
>>>> LH
>>> You're right.  But I have another
>>> question.  Although Larry has also dropped the
>>> "some", is there a difference between "I love me
>>> some him." and "I love me all him."?
>> Yes, the difference is the latter basically doesn't occur.  The constraint
>> usually (but not always) observed in these personal datives is that the
>> direct object must have an indefinite or existential determiner/article
>> attached, so the "some" in such cases isn't really partitive, whether it
>> occurs with a pronoun (Braxton's "I love me some him", or Terrell Owens' "I
>> love me some me"), a proper name ("I love me some Jude Law", "My husband
>> used to love him some Jack Daniels" —Halle Berry’s character to Billy Bob
>> Thornton’s, "Monster’s Ball", "I love me some Crocodile Hunter"--reported
>> here a while back by Mark Mandel), or a common noun phrase ("I love me a
>> big man", "I love me some fat bitches", both attested, expressing a
>> positive attitude toward generic large men and full-sized women
>> respectively).   The "some" and "a" are only here in such cases because of
>> the personal dative.  Thus we find a post beginning this way:  "I just love
>> me some cats! Don’t you just LOVe cats?!…": !
>>  when the PD pronoun "me" is dropped, so is the "some".  (Sorry, the link
>> is dead.)
>> What we don't get, or at least from most PD speakers, is definites ("I
>> love me the/that big man") or universals ("I love me all cats", "I love me
>> all him"), or bare plurals ("I love me big men").  There's some variation
>> on this, but crucially "I love me some him" doesn't suggest that I love
>> some parts of him and maybe not others, it basically just means I love him.
>> (There is at least one paper arguing that the "some", "a" in such cases
>> isn't as semantically empty as I'm claiming, but this is probably more
>> detail than you want already.)
>> LH
>> LH
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