Foundering on a Syntactic Puzzle
Posted by Neal on January 18, 2004
Thanks, Glen, for the introduction. And now, I’ll get right to some linguistic stuff.
In a recent post on LanguageLog, Geoff Pullum spoke of “founder[ing] on [a] semantic puzzle”. I’ve known this feeling when it comes to syntax, and particularly in song lyrics. I’ve always had a tendency (which I’ve gradually learned is not a normal one) to take things literally, and end up chuckling over lines like this one:
Your prison is walking through this world all alone. (“Desperado,” by the Eagles)