"Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things."-Wilma Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)
He: Will you have some coffee?
She: Coffee would keep me awake.
Depending on whether one surmises that she would like to stay awake, one can infer either a positive or negative answer to whether she would like some coffee.
Depending on whether healthiness is considered a desired property of snacks, one can infer that someone would or would not want fruits and veggies.
i find the use of the term “witchcraft” when people are discussing actual popular historical magical practices from the early modern or medieval periods of Europe to be vexing and confusing, because the way people use it tends to carry along an ahistorical set of assumptions that has more to do…
"The writing of a dictionary… is not a task of setting up authoritative statements about the “true meanings” of words, but a task of recording, to the best of one’s ability, what various words have meant to authors in the distant or immediate past. The writer of a dictionary is a historian, not a lawgiver… To regard the dictionary as an “authority,” therefore, is to credit the dictionary writer with gifts of prophecy which neither he nor anyone else possesses."-S.I. Hayakawa, Language in Thought and Action (via recoveringhipster)
The causative-inchoative alternation
I’m not sure how interesting this is to other people because it seems like such a simple concept, but I find it inexpicably interesting and I ended up doing a baby thesis on it… It was something I’d never really thought about before until a lecturer mentioned it.
You know in English where you…
Alex: Where are you going?!
Jack: We're not done yet!
Alex: Where are you guys going!?
Jack: What the fuck are you doing?!
Alex: Oh wait, they're just going to poop.
Jack: Now we've got to wait for them.
Alex: We've got to wait for them to poop. Hang on, pause, pause. Let's actually honestly... I know this is going to be annoying, but let's wait for them to come out and when they come back out, let's all clap for them.
ATL play something random for ten or so seconds.
Alex: Alright now, come on. I think maybe they really are pooping.
Jack: Girls don't poop!
Alex: Stop! I have to concentrate. I have to concentrate while I wait for them to come out.
Wait three more seconds. Someone comes out of the bathroom.
Alex: Nope, nope. False alarm.
Jack: False alarm.
Alex: False alarm. Where are they?
Alex: That's not them.
Jack: Unless they both turned into a guy?
Alex: They combined their powers to turn into one dude... I can wait. Honestly, I do not give a shit. This is our headlining tour, we can do whatever we want. Yes I know. I know it's frustrating, I know you came here to see music, but I personally came to watch girls go to the bathroom.
Jack: That's what we normally do when we're home. Where the fuck are these girls, dude?
Alex: They're just not ready. I'm going to wait.
Jack: They're probably doing drugs.
Alex: I'm GOING to wait.
Jack: Can we arrest them? For doing drugs in the girls room?
Alex: Jack shut up! Just hang tight. I know you guys want to hear a song, but I want to laugh at these girls... Nope. That's not them. Come on guys. What are you guys doing in there? Rian, shut up!
Jack: Can you go and get them for me, please? Thank you. Thank you.
Alex: I don't care if you're bored Rian. YOU'RE boring!
Rian gets up to go and get them.
Alex: What are you going to do? You don't even have a microphone.
Jack: Don't tell them what we're doing
Alex: He's going to go in there and be like 'Don't come out ever! They're going to laugh at you'
Girls and Rian come out to cheering.
Jack and Alex: YAY!!
Alex: Good job guys.
Jack: We waited for you!
Alex: How was it? How was the facilities? Did you wash your hands?
Jack: Are you on drugs?