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The Texas variant

Readers may remember the engaging discussion about the popularity of the (on the face of it) odd conversational gambit "I need you to..." or "You need to...".  In the NY Times today, this variant form:

“Mitt, we need for you to release your income tax so that the people of this country can see how you made your money,” said Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 17th, 2012 03:15 pm (UTC)
He's speaking the language of the people. Joe Plumber doesn't trust scholarized folks like you.
They played a Newt Gingrich advert this morning on a BBC news programme where he accuses Mitt of speaking French. John Kerry could speak French too. In fact they probably use the same deodorant. Who said the cut and thrust of political debate is dead ?
At this rate a debate in the Senate could end up sounding like an episode of Deputy Dawg.
Jan. 17th, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
It's clear that having written a dissertation about the Belgian Congo Newt can at least read French (probably). Speaking French (except in the expression "pardon my French") is outlawed. And the French, we know, do not use deodorant. Formee dablo, ness paw?
Jan. 17th, 2012 03:23 pm (UTC)
It's a political variant, not a Texan variant. Wordiness sounds political. So the popular gambit "you need to" becomes "we need for you to". This creates a "we" vs "you". In the middle of the sentence, "we" becomes "the people of this country" so that leaves us with Romney vs USA. Notice also the "how you made your money" instead of "how much money you made". He's more interested in the process than the amount, implying it could be shady. And "release" as if Mitt were holding them back. (Is he? I don't know or care.)

Perry isn't smart enough to choose his words this carefully; he's just become so fully a politician that he speaks like this naturally. But there's nothing Texan about it, at least not in how the sentences are constructed. I'm sure it SOUNDED perfectly Texan.
Jan. 17th, 2012 03:30 pm (UTC)
Shortest of all, and wholly unpolitical, would be "you must" -- verboten in the sort-of-nice-but-actually-coercive language of the times.

Well analyzed, though. We need for you to do a running comment strip under the debates, to point these things out.
Jan. 17th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
Well-spotted, friends! "We need for you" has become police-speak as well, even when it's a single statie approaching, saying "We need for you to exit the vehicle" or "we need for you to take out your license and registration."
Jan. 17th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
Probably snuck up from the Southland though, like country music.
Jan. 19th, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
Always reminds me of the movie Office Space where the protagonists boss says (to said protagonist) "Hi, Peter. We're going to need you to go ahead and come in on Saturday." Extra points for "go ahead".
Feb. 19th, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
Nice. This is allied to "I'm going to let you" as in "I'm going to let you clean up the vomit" or similar. I have forbidden my wife to use this formula no mater how innocently -- "I'm going to let you finish up here -- I have to go."

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )