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Nothing

Nothing

Postby anders » Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:00 pm

Recently, I've encountered the phrase
Nothing to See Here, Move Along

a couple of times. It gets a third of a million hits on searching the web. So what does it really mean, and/or from where is it?
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Postby bnjtokyo » Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:39 am

Anders, I believe these phrases are used by a police officer at a accident site or crime scene to keep the curious from stopping to stare/watch. The first phrase is informational and the second is an order.

As for where it is from, probably dozens of cop movies or cop tv shows.

Cheers,
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Postby anders » Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:00 am

Makes sense. But I still wonder why I haven't noticed it until recently. One reason is of course that once you get interested in something, you are more likely to notice it. That was probably also the case with all variations on the theme "I don't do windows", which I equally suddenly found everywhere starting a year or two ago.
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Postby Apoclima » Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:11 pm

I think that bnjtokyo has it right!

And, yes, anders, it is strange how we don't notice things in language and then when we do it is everywhere.

I had the same experience with the phrase "MY BAD" which I still don't like, but since it was drawn to my attention, it seems to pop up everywhere.

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Postby KatyBr » Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:49 pm

today I was reminded, by hearing myself, that there is a phrase "good of a" as in "I don't care all that much but it's really not that good of a paint job" Awkward to the max already, it's usually rendered down further to gudova, or worse gooda. suggestions? bricks?

Kt
A propos of APO's lament above.
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Postby gailr » Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:10 pm

KatyBr wrote: ...it's really not that good of a paint job...

suggestions? bricks?


1. It's not that good a paint job.

2. It's a very poor paint job.

2. That paint job is for crap.

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Postby azhreia » Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:51 am

"good of" I've always thought to have a link with the lazy speech habit of "would of".

Not that the correct version would be "good have", as it is with "would have", but rather that it sounds euphonious if one's ear is attuned to "would of" as a correct part of speech.

Clear as mud? I thought so.

Azh
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:10 am

Languages rule!
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Postby tcward » Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:56 pm

azhreia wrote:"good of" I've always thought to have a link with the lazy speech habit of "would of".

Not that the correct version would be "good have", as it is with "would have", but rather that it sounds euphonious if one's ear is attuned to "would of" as a correct part of speech.

Clear as mud? I thought so.

Azh


Welcome, Azh! ;)

I thought the same thing and then decided against it.

In English couldn't we also say:

That's not that quick of a route.

It's not that big of a deal.

We were just sitting, enjoying the quiet of a summer's eve.


(I know, I know... that last example is a stretch. But I think it sprouts from the same root.)

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Postby gailr » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:25 pm

Good to see you, Azh!

I agree with Tim that this type of phrasing gets a lot of mileage in English. Here's another example: he's not that good of a dancer.

There is a perfectly acceptable form for each example:
It's not a very good paint job.
That's not a quick route.
It's not a big deal.
He's not a very good dancer.


Upon reflection, I think inserting "that" adds a subtle emphasis:
It's not that good...
even if the speaker maintains an even tone.

I'm also wondering where the native speaker's verbal kneejerk addition "of" originated? It adds a syllable that makes a nice, mumbling rhythm with the additional "that", and the whole construction sounds a little more familiar, almost confidential. Roger Ebert raved about it, but it wasn't that good of a movie!

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Postby Andrew Dalby » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:49 am

tcward wrote:In English couldn't we also say:

That's not that quick of a route.

It's not that big of a deal.

We were just sitting, enjoying the quiet of a summer's eve.


-Tim


Not in my English: I've never heard the first two or wanted to say them. Nor have I heard 'It's not that good of a paint job'. These must belong to some form of English I haven't encountered yet! They only sound like English to me if the 'of' is omitted: then they're fine.

However, the quiet of a summer's eve seems fine and peaceful to me. In Tim's last example I think 'quiet' is a noun: you could switch it with 'quietness' or 'silence' or 'bird songs' and the sentence would still be OK.
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Postby Apoclima » Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:45 pm

Interesting, Andrew!

I hear the above "of" phrases all the time, usually pronounced,
"-aa" or "-a'a" ('a' representing a schwa here)!

"That ain't that quicka route."

"That ain't that quicka'a route."

"It ain't that bigga deal."

"It's not that bigga'a deal."

But this form doesn't work well with the noun!

"We were just sitting, enjoying the quieta'a summer's eve.*"

Apo
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