[Ads-l] =?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=9CWhat_am_I_wanting_to_illustrate=3F=E2=80=9D_?=(Barry Neil Kaufman in "To Love Is to Be Happy With")

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 30 16:04:45 UTC 2019

When I arrived in Tennessee in 1974, this sort of progressive construction
was already nearly universal, and it still is. I'd never heard it NYC.

 Remember "McDonald's:  I'm Lovin' It!" (2003)?


On Fri, Aug 30, 2019 at 11:25 AM Stanton McCandlish <smccandlish at gmail.com>

> That* [to be]+[other verb] *construction is standard grammar in some
> languages for various purposes, so I would suspect it's a loan construction
> (possibly a multigenrrational one, turned regional or subcultural idiom)
> when it appears habitually in someone's English. I hear it pretty
> frequently from various South Asian ESL learners. Maybe it also shows up in
> some European languages.
> I'm reminded of how various Hiberno-English oddities ("She's me wife she
> is", "I'm after putting it on the table already", "Look at your man over
> there", etc.) can be traced directly to Irish Gaelic constructions.
> Similarly, English is picking up "allows to [something]", with no actor
> referent, from German and maybe some other Germanic languages, and *also*
> from
> some South and Southeast Asian languages, simultaneously (the main vector
> is technical documentation, for both groups).
> Anyway, I think that in a psychological context, "they're wanting to" is
> actually a bit nuanced, descriptive of an externally perceived and
> changeable state rather than assertive in a *faux*-omnicient way of an
> internal personal truth or condition.  A common everyday-vernacular example
> would be along the lines of "She was being disruptive", which is a very
> different statement from "She is disruptive."
> Kaufman's examples may stand out ("may be standing out"?) as strange just
> for not being common collocations nor having any clarification or narrowing
> purpose, in most cases, that would be clear except to the author and maybe
> to some specialized audience.
> On Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 8:18 AM Federico Escobar <
> federicoescobarcordoba at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Barry Neil Kaufman is the author of several books and of Son-Rise and
> > Option Process fame. One of his first books is "To Love Is to Be Happy
> > With" (Fawcett, 1977). The book's "About the author" page says he was
> "born
> > and raised in New York City."
> >
> > This book deploys a construction that gives me pause each time. It's a
> > combination of a be verb and a verb with an -ing ending that I would have
> > phrased differently. I have read other, later books by the author and I
> > didn't notice this. It's likely copy editors expunged it (or the author
> > dropped it).
> >
> > Here are a few examples from the first hundred pages of the book:
> > — “Some of us might also be believing that if we didn’t get upset, we
> would
> > somehow be callous and ‘inhuman’” (p. 35).
> > — “others are also doing the best they can, the best they know how, based
> > on their current beliefs… they’re wanting to be happier, wanting to be
> more
> > loving” (p. 38).
> > — “you’re saying he’s not knowing what is best” (p. 54).
> > — “What are you wanting?” (p. 54).
> > — “What am I wanting to illustrate?” (p. 59).
> > — “A parent often makes judgments about what’s best for the child because
> > the parent is believing that the child would not choose what’s best for
> > himself” (p. 67).
> > — “isn’t that what I was wanting for him in the first place?” (p. 71).
> > — “And when I am wanting to do that, the process is beautiful… not
> painful”
> > (p. 100).
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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