May 1st, 2006

ozarque figure

Linguistics in the real world; two sentences that got my attention yesterday....

1. This one is the Main Thrust of a commercial now running on CNN:

"As America's No. 1 lender, no one can do what Countrywide can."

This thing says the opposite of what it's intended to say -- and more -- and will repay careful analysis. I suppose it's working anyway or Countrywide wouldn't be spending the money to run it; if so, it's an example of people translating it in their heads into what they believe it was intended to say and then acting on their translation.


2. And then there was this one, from my very sight-dominant husband, as he was watching television:

"I've got to get my glasses, so I can hear what I'm seeing."