Literal-Minded

Linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally

Doug Steals Adam’s Proposition

Posted by Neal on October 15, 2005

Adam was eager to tell me something last night. My wife called me into the room just so he could tell me. He had just put on his pajamas, and pulled the pants way up past his navel. He was pleased with himself for doing this, because now, he told me, “I look like–“

“He looks like Wallace!” Doug interjected.

“Doug, let him say it,” my wife told him. “Adam, what were you saying?”

“I look like Wallace!” That would be Wallace of the duo Wallace and Gromit. I didn’t see how pulling the pajama bottoms way up achieved this effect, but I agreed with him while my wife had a talk with Doug about stealing his brother’s thunder. I heard Doug saying, “There’s a difference!” I listened closer.

He explained: “Adam said, ‘I look like Wallace.’ I said, ‘He looks like Wallace.'”

Oh, no, I don’t think so. I had to come in and give my wife some linguistic backup. If Doug wanted to argue semantics, he’d have to argue formal semantics.

“It’s the same proposition, Doug. They’re different sentences, but the same proposition.”

“No, Dad, listen,” he told me. “Listen. I said, ‘He looks like Wallace,’ but he said–“

“Yes, Doug, I and he are different words, but both sentences mean that Adam Whitman looks like Wallace.” He conceded the point with his silence.

One Response to “Doug Steals Adam’s Proposition”

  1. dgm said

    …and will live to blog about it.

    maybe this will be his frings incident.

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