[Ads-l] "Paul Robinette" of _Law and Order_ speaks:

Benjamin Barrett mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 28 08:02:34 UTC 2016

> On 27 Jan 2016, at 23:42, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "Paul Robinette" of _Law and Order_ speaks:
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> On Jan 27, 2016, at 9:59 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>> =20
>> Subject:      "Paul Robinette" of _Law and Order_ speaks:
>> =20
>> "She's not that good _of_ a liar."
>> =20
>> "Paul" - Richard Brooks, a native of Cleveland - is the original black gu=
> y
>> of L&O.
> first thing: PR is an actor, reading lines from a script. for all we know, =
> this is what the script writer gave him as a line, and any linguistic inter=
> est it might have has nothing to do with PR's race or the place where he gr=
> ew up.
> it is true that actors sometimes alter the lines they were given to fit the=
> system of their own variety. in this case, i tried to find out what the li=
> ne was in the script, but to no avail. but the variant is of such great fre=
> quency these days that it's quite likely it was in the script.
> second thing: i've posted about this variant dozens of times on ADS-L and p=
> osted about it repeatedly on my blog; an inventory of postings on my blog a=
> bout EDM (with comments) can be found here:
> http://arnoldzwicky.org/linguistics-notes/edm/
> the historically older variant is what i've called -of EDM (Exceptional Deg=
> ree Marking) -- in this case,
>  She's not that good a liar.
> (this is an answer to Benjamin Barrett's question about what the alternativ=
> e is to the variant in Law & Order; Barrett is apparently a speaker of the =
> now-standard variety in the US, with only (or predominantly) +of EDM.)

Thank you for that follow-up. I can drop the “of” and perhaps do so most of the time, but it’s like an anagram when the form is written on the page. BB
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