• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Them that verb phrase

    August 12th, 2012
    firefly, ling
    One grammatical quirk of the 'rural' dialect in Firefly is restrictive relative clauses "them that" as in:
    If that's what you think of this life, then you can't think much of them that choose it, can you? -- Kaylee
    Or "them as":
    Just get us some passengers. Them as can pay. -- Mal
    Small crew, them as feel the need to be free - Mal
    To see whether this was something English used to do or something Whedon made up, we can look at the N-Gram viewer:
    Them that are, Them as are:
    Them that can, Them as can:
    So "them that/as verb" appears to be something English used to do a lot more of.

    People pretty much don't use that construction now, unless they're mimicing Firefly, so how did we lose it? It looks to me like the main change was using "those" in place of "them":

    Them who are, Those who are:
    Them who can, Those who can:
    Them who do, Those who do:
    It appears "those who" has always been much more popular (but "those that" is catching up):

    Comment via: google plus, facebook

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    Interview with Kat Woods: decision-making about having kids

    Realizing what you don't want The post Interview with Kat Woods: decision-making about having kids appeared first on Otherwise.

    via Otherwise July 5, 2022

    Decision theory and dynamic inconsistency

    Here is my current take on decision theory: When making a decision after observing X, we should condition (or causally intervene) on statements like “My decision algorithm outputs Y after observing X.” Updating seems like a description of something you do…

    via The sideways view July 3, 2022

    10x (engineer, context) pairs

    Your actual output depends on a lot more than just how quickly you finish a given programming task. Everything besides the literal coding depends deeply on the way you interact with the organization around you.

    via benkuhn.net June 9, 2022

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact