What matters is that "fucking shut the fuck up" would have the same meaning, conventionally, in a one-to-one conversation me and you as in a one-to-many conversation Van Morrison to crowd. Are there any values of X that can preserve the meaning of "shut X up" as "'shut up' with great intensity", and for which X is not some form of invective? No thanks, take me back to the meme zone! Great to see that Language Log is doing its bit to deal with our hallowed English tetragrammata. July 31, 5: While their affective force may well derive from their "conventional meaning," their meaning in context, and hence their syntactical relationship to the rest of an utterance, is fluid in ways that other words do not enjoy.
So this is where the unemployed english majors hang out.
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Maybe instead of romantic comedies they should be called documentaries. I not going to read all above to confirm that no one else has mentioned this, but without Van Morrison there would have been a lot fewer American garage bands Is the fluidity an accident, perhaps a recent addition to the language? Owed 'im half a bloody quid. However, the examples I came up with all involve two prepositions, only one of which had an object, as in Nathan Sanders' "Get the fuck out of here" type.