Is this a good sentence?

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Jan 28 22:42:44 UTC 2013

On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 10:41 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> On Jan 17, 2013, at 10:22 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> > "This is dedicated to those who love _themselves_ some heavy metal."
> I'm not about "good" or "bad" when it's not my dialect, but my guess (in print a few years back)
> is that people who want to try out the personal dative because it's trendy ("I love me some him",
> "I love me some Wilson Gray", "He needs him a new pickup", etc.) but don't really control the
> construction end up using the reflexive (because they're used to using the reflexive in ordinary
> indirect object sentences ("He got himself a new pickup").  So the "correct" dialectal ordinary
> pronoun in the above sentence (" those who love them some heavy metal") is naturalized
> to the reflexive ("…to those who love themselves some heavy metal").

I just came across a reflexive example, from the Sunday Mirror (UK),
Jan. 20, 2013:

We do love ourselves a bit of Ruth Jones. As the awesome Nessa in
Gavin & Stacey, her ample bits shoehorned in to all that pleather (and
getting jiggy with everyone from John Prescott to 'all eight members
of Goldie Looking Chain'), she created one of the finest comedy
characters of all time. Thus when we go to find out what's occurring
(sorry, had to be done) with her today, we are very happy bunnies.

I spotted this looking for current examples of "getting jiggy,"
responding to a media query about the 15th anniversary of the Will
Smith song "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It." Though "(get) jiggy" was in the
running for Least Likely to Succeed in the 1998 WOTY proceedings, it's
hung around in the sexual sense -- at least among UK tabloid writers
(of the type who would muck up a personal dative with a reflexive).


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list