Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Musings on Parenthetical Pronouns

I know, you read that title and you thought 'WHAT IS THIS WILD SHIT ABOUT?!"

Sometimes when I’m reading a news article, I run across a quote where the writer or editor has put in parentheses around a pronoun. Supposedly, this is just a way for them to alter a quote so that it makes sense in the context of their article. However, sometimes I wonder what the hell the original quote was and why it had to change. For instance, today I see this:

"We know (he) can score," Prince said. "We know what (he is) capable of with the ball in (his) hands.”

Like… what did he actually say? I don’t know what the speaker could have said other than ‘he,’ ‘he is,’ and ‘his.’ It could have been the person’s full name, but that’s not likely given that he would have to use it three times in two sentences.

Is the speaker unable to speak? Like, is he unintelligible? You see that sometimes, usually when interviewing old-timey gold prospectors and the like. Here, though, the rest of the sentence is perfectly legitimate English so he must not be mealy mouthed.

Is the speaker getting his pronouns mixed up? “We know it can score. We know what she is capable of with the ball in they hands?”

Is he using some weird alien pronoun that nobody on Earth understands? “We know Blorgon can score. We know what Blorgon is capable of…?”

Is he just shouting at the top of his lungs? “We know AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH can score?”

Or, is he throwing in a bunch of profanities? “We know cock-faced assmunch can score. We know what fuckface is capable of with the ball in asshole douchtard’s hands.”

I suppose we’ll never know.

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