The fact that sentences of the form fuck2 plus NP are not known to be validly analyzable as NP + VP in deep structure, the fact that they are not embeddable in any sentences, and the fact that they allow none of the adjuncts which all other sentences allow, makes highly plausible the hypothesis that they should not even be analyzed as sentences--that the category "utterance" be divided into two subcategories, "sentence" and "epithet" (the latter class including utterances such as (2), (46) and (64)), that only "sentence" and not "epithet" be embeddable within an utterance, that "epithet" involve a lexical category of "quasi-verbs" (this category consisting of fuck2, shit on, etc.), that there be a phrase-structure rule
Epithet --> Quasi-verb NP
and that "Quasi-verb" appear in no other phrase-structure rule.
Ross, under the name "E. Clifton Gamahuche", took the first and only steps towards developing metapornolinguistics, with his "Conjunctive Ordering" (where, among other observations, he notes that in the absence of Copula agreement, the only option is Reflexivization).
Q. The way sports writers and fans write the hortatory phrase “Go Giants!” (my home team, and no reflection on them) drives me nuts. Shouldn’t it be “Go, Giants”? It’s direct address, after all, and there is a vast difference between the two commands “Kill Bill!” and “Kill, Bill!” The athletic directors whose columns I’ve edited just scoff that it’s accepted “sports English” to write “Go Bears/Giants/Frogs!” but I just “go bananas.”
A. Ah, sports English. Yes, that’s what it is, and there’s probably no fighting it, although as an editor you are justified in inserting the comma.
I don't see why "Go Giants!" is called "sports English"; one wouldn't say the same thing of the hortatory "go" in "go tell it on the mountain" or "go kill Bill" (or "go Bill" during Bill's dissertation defense). The hortatory purpose of "go..." isn't (presently, though perhaps not historically [nb pdf link]) to exhort the entity addressed to *go*, the way "kill, Bill!" exhorts Bill to kill, it is, in the latter examples, to exhort the addressee to tell it on the mountain or to kill Bill, respectively. In "Go Giants!" as well the sense hardly seems to be an exhortation to go, such as "Go, Giants!" would convey, and it's far from obvious (to me) that the former even directly addresses the Giants, rather than wishes that they might do well. (I can easily imagine saying "Go Giants!" by way of exchanging greetings with a fellow Giants fan, while "Kick their asses back to Texas, Giants!" would not be suitable.)
That there is a world of difference between the commands "Kill Bill!" and "Kill, Bill!" is only relevant if "Go Giants!" is also a command (or exhortation) to go. But not everything with surface imperatival or hortatory form is such a command (exhortation). There is also a world of difference between "Fuck Lyndon Johnson!" and "Fuck, Lyndon Johnson!" (ex. from the eye-opening "English Sentences without Overt Grammatical Subjects") but that is not because the former is a command that the addressee should copulate with LJ while the latter is a command that LJ should copulate---in all circumstances, anyway; the former certainly *could* be used that way and the latter might simply be an expostulation occasioned by LJ. We leave such subtleties to the side; the point is that "Fuck Lyndon Johnson!" needn't be a command or exhortation involving *actual fucking* at all, just as "Go Giants!" needn't be a command or exhortation for anyone, even the Giants, to *go*.
Somebody bring me a beer.
*Anybody bring me a beer.
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