Literal-Minded

Linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally

They’ve Turned On Al Qaeda

Posted by Neal on January 28, 2008

I was listening to the State of the Union address this evening, or as it’s often called, just the State of the Union. It occurred to me that readers who have found this blog recently might be interested in this post from 2005.

As for this evening’s address, at one point the president mentioned Osama bin Laden’s latest videotape, in which:

…he rails against tribal leaders who have turned on al Qaeda.

Osama’s being too harsh on these guys. Can they help it that they’re so darn sexy?

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2 Responses to “They’ve Turned On Al Qaeda”

  1. The Ridger said

    Funny. Thanks! That’s one I use to show obligatory pronoun object placement – you can “turn on al Qaeda” or “turn al Qaeda on” interchangeably, but “turn on them” doesn’t mean “turn them on”.

  2. and we have this sexual implied meaning because…no, not because of somebody not handling the phrasal verbs properly, it’s because military is sexy! :-)

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