Date: Mon, 18 Aug 1997 15:03:05 -0500


Subject: "we be careful"

This isn't news, but it's a data point. Such constructions as "we be" are often thought of as

(substitute your

preferred politically correct expression here), but this excerpt from a newsgroup (on the topic of

the new Louisiana

so-called "shoot-on-sight" anti-carjacking law) is a different breed of cat. For me, too, "be

careful" has achieved

status as a verb separate from "be" + Adj.

"We don't get many carjackings here in Canada - or at least, the part that

I live in. Also, we're not allowed to carry hidden weapons, so we just be careful I suppose. I lock

the doors when

I'm alone in the car, and generally keep an eye out when I'm driving in the big city. I've been

lucky so far (knock on

wood), and I know that the alarm has stopped would-be theives from taking my stereo out, etc.

Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200

320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA :

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