Sep 28, 2022 • 34M

The Rodney Dangerfield Pronoun

In language, redundancy opens up possibilities.

Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

John McWhorter
Episode details
My wife, she …

Comedian Rodney Dangerfield was fond of introducing jokes with a kind of redundancy, for example: “My wife, she told me I was one in a million. I found out she was right.” But those seemingly superfluous pronouns are filled with promise. John explains.

Lexicon Valley is a reader-supported publication. Please consider becoming a paid subscriber.