May 26, 2006

Hey There, Three Remaining Readers

This makes me wonder about the context-dependence of "shaggy."

Posted by Matt Weiner at May 26, 2006 11:40 AM

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to answer: Can something be both a tall tale and a shaggy dog story?

Posted by: Ben at May 26, 2006 01:17 PM

Couldn't "she" claim something like "that's not tall, that's fucking huge"?

Posted by: ben wolfson at June 7, 2006 12:46 PM

Hey wolfson, tell that great "Yo' mama so shaggy . . ." joke!

Posted by: M/tch M/lls at June 10, 2006 03:09 PM

Whoops, getting late to the comments... the standard line on "that's not tall, that's fucking huge" is that it's a metalinguistic negation; it's not that it's not tall, but that it would be infelictous to say "that's tall" (since it's less informative than saying "that's fucking huge"). Of course that doesn't mean she can't say it. But I think it doesn't count as denying that it's tall.

M/tch, for shame.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at June 11, 2006 10:43 AM

I knew you'd say that, but I still don't buy it. Claims: in the context of a discussion of tall objects mostly in the range of fifteen to twenty feet high, the Empire State Building isn't tall. (I realize that in the linked discussion the height disparity wasn't nearly as great, but also I don't care.)

Posted by: ben wolfson at June 11, 2006 04:35 PM

M/tch, for shame.

What? I was citing wolfson's work favorably!

Why does everyone doubt the sincerity of my devotion to ben?

Posted by: M/tch M/lls at June 12, 2006 08:16 AM