A Sentence Never Uttered Before
Posted: 16 March 2014 04:56 AM   [ Ignore ]
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From a Geoffrey Pullum posting on Language Log:

Last week a former Royal Marine who is the boyfriend of the model Kelly Brooks crashed into a bus stop while driving a van carrying a load of dead badgers.

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Posted: 16 March 2014 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Man, I say that all the time.

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Posted: 16 March 2014 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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My husband and I are full of sympathy for any MI5 or KGB officers who have wired our house for sound and are monitoring our conversations. Just before our family turned up for Boxing Day lunch last December, he was laying the table and asked me ‘Is there anything I’ve forgotten?’ and I replied, ‘Yes, the gilt gingerbread in the fish kettle behind the of the dead pirate dummy’. I mean, never mind ‘The oranges are ripe in Valencia’ - you could start WWIII with an obviously-coded message like that.

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Posted: 17 March 2014 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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‘Yes, the gilt gingerbread in the fish kettle behind the of the dead pirate dummy’. I mean, never mind ‘The oranges are ripe in Valencia’ - you could start WWIII with an obviously-coded message like that.

One of David Letterman’s funniest bits is comprised of interviews about political issues with “Chief International Correspondent Graham Fenwick Jones” in which Jones speaks in such code. I can only pick up the occasional reference. “well, well, Dave we see the trolleries in the Barney-rubble ... getting into a two and eight over every farthing and thruppence.” Lots of cockney rhyming slang thrown in.

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Posted: 18 March 2014 05:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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...and called his cannon a Bertie!

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Posted: 22 March 2014 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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It’s all down to the vocabulary.
I mean, if the sentence finished “carrying a barrel of badgers” then with the knowledge that “badger” is a beer you might be confused, i.e. you now have 2 possible solutions.  Unless of course you assume that the punctuation is correct, which is not always the case.

One of the examples given of a well-known phrase is “I’ll have a ham and swiss on rye”, which I still struggle with.  I worked out on a visit to the USA that “swiss” is a thin sheet of rubber with holes in it, and that “rye” is the outer part of a sandwich.  But not exactly what either are.

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Posted: 22 March 2014 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Depends on who makes it. Sometimes it’s a beautifully smoked and aged Virginia ham stacked in paper thin slices. The thin sheet of rubber can be replaced with a nice Wisconsin Emmentaler. Slather some stone ground mustard on thick slices of homemade rye bread and you’ve got yourself a sandwich… comparable to something with the same name that comes ready made out of plastic packaging in the same way a Yugo and a Ferrari are both cars.

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