[Ads-l] "Yours truly" = 'you'?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Oct 3 00:23:29 UTC 2020

From last night’s Daily Social Distancing Show, Trevor Noah interviewing Mariah Carey:

Noah: ”One of the things that I don’t think a lot of people realize about you is that you’re a master at your craft. Not just at singing, but: 19 Number one hits, and 18 of those were written by yours truly”.
Carey: “Yes, and thank you for acknowledging that”.

As the exchange (if not the common ground) makes clear, both interlocutors were discussing the fact that Carey had written her own songs, not crediting Noah with having done so in his spare time.  I’m wondering if this is a frequent reanalysis, “yours truly” as a fancy or deferential way of saying “you"—not exactly an eggcorn, since the form hasn’t changed, but a loss of transparency.  Maybe a bit like “wherefore” = ‘where’ rather than ‘why’.

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

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