Here once again is polemics prof Geoff Nunberg making a dick of himself–check his update–while trying to do the same to George W Bush. Anyone who has spent any time with luvvies or second-hand booksellers will be aware that writing may be regarded as a commodity and that commoditisers are not necessarily unsympathetic idiots.
Second hand English is a strange thing, and few things stranger than the basis of this riddle, taken from Richard Chase’s collection of American folk tales and songs:
There was a man who had no eyes,
and out he went, and looked at the skies.
He saw a tree that had good apples grown;
he took no apples off, he left no apples on.
The answer, writes Chase, is in the use of the plural. He was a one-eyed man, and the tree had only two apples on it. “–and one apple’s not apples!”
(Chase’s collection also contains one of the finest American hymns, The Garden Hymn, taken from the first (1835) edition of The Southern Harmony. Tweak the harmony a bit, do a Tom Waits on it, and hey presto.)
- Time, a commodity
I always thought that a commodity was an article that could be traded, and that time (99-year lease, delivery in October,
- Fact-dodging Geoff Nunberg
Sez he: The fact is that the right owns those object+present participle compounds, as surely as it owns values, media bias, the
- More Geoff Nunberg
Hardly seems worth cutting into vacation beer time for this, but here is the man referring to this over-aggressive post of
- Cats vs porcupines: Gramsci’s view
Mistress Puss has departed for the hill, so it’s time for another beast to abuse, kill and eat the 5-6cm American
- Sermon on the nount
More uses for a scissors than distinguished Viennese-Albertan dialect experts think.