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QW 022712 “Sports Subjunctive”

Again, it’s grammar talk from Language Log. Have you heard of the “sports subjunctive”? For me it naturally connotes the conditionals that are used in sports context, such as baseball, soccer, or basketball games, but it doesn’t seem so.
L-Log says “To begin with, the construction has no special connection with sports.” Here is the example of what L-Log explains as the “sports subjunctive”.

“Listen," Renda said, "we get to a phone we're out of the country before morning."

Through this construction, Renda means something like "If we can just get to a phone, we will be out of the country before morning.", having “we get to phone” as an equivalent of if-clause. L-Log explains what happens here as, quote, “Colloquial English has long had paratactic (= of or relating to the placing of clauses or phrases one after another without words to indicate coordination or subordination) conditionals of this sort. They occur in a wide range of contexts that have nothing to do with sport. But they also have nothing to do with the subjunctive, a topic on which virtually all popular grammatical discussion is disastrously confused.”
Then can they be examples of the “sports subjunctive”?
1) We take off now we catch the last train.
2) You do dishes I do the laundry.
3) I quit eating chocolate I go MAD!!

(30 minutes / 224 words)

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Aya

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