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re: Grammar in "Left in the Dark"

Posted by:
The_Count 01:13 pm MST 01/26/07
In reply to: re: Grammar in "Left in the Dark" - Vin 11:28 am MST 01/26/07

AAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The minutiae is killing me!

> Needing her "bad" wouldn't necessarily mean that he needed
> her to be a bad person. It could refer to THE DEGREE OF
> NEEDING, as opposed to the ACTUAL ACT OF NEEDING, which is
> what the adverb "badly" modifies.
>
> Example:
>
> Hey, dude, how do you need her?
>
> I need her bad. ("Bad," in this case, having the
> colloquial/contextual meaning of "a lot.")
>
> "I need her badly," while gramatically correct, as you
> point out, technically means, "I'm not good at needing
> her."
> Its pretty safe to assume that this is not what Jim's
> speaker means in LitD.
>
> Another example:
>
> "The man dying in the desert needed water bad." (He
> didn't need bad water. And there surely is nothing wrong
> with his ability to need the water; he's needing it just
> fine. Its the degree to which he needs the water that is
> being described.)
>
> And this chestnut from Jim's own catalog probably best
> illustrates the difference:
>
> "Tonight I really got it bad."
>
> Is Jim saying that the way in which she obtained it is
> sub-par? No, because that would be "Tonight I really got
> it badly." He's describing the degree to which she got
> it: "bad."
>
>
> Not that I honestly give a shit. Language is a mutable
> body of work, most of us butcher the rules routinely,
> accidentally or otherwise, and as long as we effectively
> communicate, it doesn't really matter. If we butcher the
> rules long enough, the butchering becomes the rule, so
> there.
>
> Still, I've always had a soft spot for debating minutiae.
>
>
>
> > Badly is correct. It describes how he needs her. If he
> > needed her bad then bad being an adjective would say that
> > he needs her to be a bad person... or a naughty person.
> > For an adverb you ask does it desc ribe the verb. How did
> > he need her? He needed her badly.
> >
> > > Listening to LitD this morning, and this line struck me:
> > >
> > > I needed you oh so badly tonight
> > >
> > > "Badly" being an adverb, doesn't this mean that the
> > > speaker is doing a poor job of "needing."
> > >
> > > Shouldn't this properly be "needed you oh so bad" ?


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