thought I’d share


Sometimes, I make myself laugh. This is what I just wrote:

Examples 17 through 22b were coded as “reconstructed dialog.” However, the dialog was obviously constructed rather than reconstructed as the interlocutors are styrofoam packing peanuts:

17. They’re all “Pauly, don’t you want to try just one of us?”

One of the questions on my takehome final is a brief study of the usage of the quotative be+all, a close relative of the quotative be+like. We’ve been given a small corpus of 50 examples of this quotative, including some from blogs. Such as this excerpt from this one:

People who eat pennies are stupid. I mean, it’s obvious what’s going to happen. Your body isn’t going to be able to digest a damn penny, okay? Same goes for shards of glass or thumbtacks or pieces of errant plastic or even little lego pieces. I’m past that. I’ve moved on. Matured. But when it comes to these damn packing peanuts they call out to me like they know what I’m thinking. They’re all “Pauly, don’t you want to try just one of us?”” and I’m all “No thanks Mr. Packing Peanut, I think you’ll just give me a stomach ache” and they’re all “Oh, c’mon — what’s the worst that could happen?” and I’m all “I could get sick” and they’re all “Sicker than when you got food poisoning from Pizza Hut?” and I’m all “How did you know about that?” and they’re all “We’re packing peanuts, Pauly — we know all.”

Let this be a warning to all of you. Anything you write and publish on the web could turn into data fodder for linguists, or even worse, linguistics students. Bwahahaha.

Oooh. There’s something I could research: the distribution of spellings of evil laughs on the web. There seems to be a bit of variation in the onset (bwahahaha vs muahahaha vs buahahaha vs mwahahaha) not to mention variability in the number of “ha”s. (We can get from two “ha”s, as in bwahaha, all the way up to…I’m not sure how many. I got as far as googling

“bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha”

and was amused to get 7180 hits, and this:

Did you mean: mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Hey, remember how I said I like sleep, and should be in pretty good shape to get some tonight? Not if I keep screwing around like this. So I’m all “I totally need to get back to work.”

6 responses to “thought I’d share

  1. It’s nice to know my words are being used to TEACH THE WORLD.

  2. Think of it as being just like donating your organs to science, but you don’t have to be dead first.

  3. Paul-
    Yes, it is a sort of power. I only hope that you will wield it responsibly. Otherwise some poor soul out there may learn to use a quotative construction in some embarrassingly inappropriate way.

    jwbates-
    An excellent point indeed. It’s also less messy. (Usually. Though you should see some of the papers some students write. Not for the faint-hearted.)

  4. I love that you got a “Did you mean mwhahahahahahahahaha?” That’s so totally awesome.

    Will you be my friend?

  5. NotSoSage-
    I would love to be your friend. We must practice our evil laughs, though, if we are to achieve world domination. Bwahahahahaha.

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