rosesclavisaurea:

yes please?

rosesclavisaurea:

yes please?

Fuck You: Linguistics

In 1967 University of Chicago linguist Jim McCawley proposed that fuck, when used as an epithet, as in Fuck you, is not a verb, because it accepts none of the adjuncts of a normal sentence:

  • I said to fuck you.
  • Don’t fuck you.
  • Do fuck you.
  • Please fuck you.
  • Fuck you, won’t you?
  • Go fuck you.
  • Fuck you or I’ll take away your teddy bear.
  • Fuck you and I’ll give you a dollar.

Also, Fuck you “has neither declarative nor interrogative nor imperative meaning; one can neither deny nor answer nor comply with such an utterance.”

What is it, then? McCawley proposed “quasi-verb,” a new category that can be followed by a noun phrase.

The full paper is here; the journal Language credits it with being the first satirical linguistics paper.