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"Dead she is"

Altering syntax for bad news
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Normal English word order for statements goes Subject-Verb-Object or Subject-Predicate. If someone is breaking bad news, this means they may say something like "Jane is dead." This means the person who is receiving the bad news goes through the process of thinking "(Jane) - Ah! Jane! That lovely woman...(is) - Oh yes, what am i going to learn about her now?...(dead) - OH MY GOD!"

In order to avoid this, i propose that people use a word order where the worst word is used first, in order that there be a potential sense of relief when someone says "Dead Jane is", because the person who might have died but hasn't is closer to one's heart than the one who actually has.

If, on the other hand, someone has to say "Jane is not dead", the syntax should be "Not dead Jane is", so that the first piece of information is that someone is not dead, allowing relief to people worrying about the fate of their loved ones.

nineteenthly, Nov 19 2007

Yoda poetry Yoda_20Poetry
ah, the good farmer. [bungston, Nov 19 2007]

Comprehensible? Going_20him_20with_...eally_20is_20out_3f
Like this [nineteenthly, Nov 20 2007]


       Similar to Yoda-speak, this syntax is.
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 19 2007

       Bone this is.
simonj, Nov 19 2007

       "Dead Jane is." This means the person who is receiving the bad news goes through the process of thinking "(Dead) - Sounds like bad news...(Jane) - Ah! Jane! That lovely woman, I hope the last word is 'isn't"...(is) - OH MY GOD!"
Texticle, Nov 19 2007

       In practice, people prefix unexpected very bad news with little preparatory statements like: "I have some bad news:..." or "I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this--". Just saying something bad out straight, in whatever grammar, is so unusual as to probably not be understood.   

       If the bad news is expected, the opposite applies: the facial expression or tone of voice of the speaker will tell all of the story before they've finished speaking their first word, whatever it is.
jutta, Nov 20 2007

Ling, Nov 20 2007

       There are many time when I wish people would consider this. As in "Are you breaking up with me?" "Of course not." (consider the other person's dread when you say "of course" before the word "not" appears.   

       It should be "No, of course not".
phundug, Nov 20 2007

       "Did you know Jane?" walk away and let them figure it out for themselves.   

       Alternatively, "Arrr, dead she be"
marklar, Nov 20 2007

       "Jane is alive - NOT!!"
hippo, Nov 20 2007

       "This Jane is no more, she has ceased to be"
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Nov 20 2007

       The sky is falling...oops-- falling is the sky.
xandram, Nov 20 2007

       The bad news is:   

       Rubbish, this idea is. ;)
Murdoch, Nov 20 2007

       Anejay siay eadday.
theleopard, Nov 20 2007

       [phundug], i don't know, all that effort i put in to manipulating the other person into thinking it was their idea to split up with me and then she bloody doesn't. Sounds like bad news to me.
nineteenthly, Nov 20 2007

       Jane is on the roof
globaltourniquet, Nov 20 2007

       hates your idea, jane does. people are gonna think you are a jerk, and quite frankly, the sentence is short enough that it will come as a clump unless you drag it out, "dead...... jane....... is." which is kind of mean, if you think about it. you've got someone sitting there with bated breath wondering which of their acquaintances you are about to off with your final word, you might as well give them the clump and let them sort out the pieces all at the same time.   

       very nice of you to care about the imminently bereaved. neutral.
k_sra, Nov 20 2007

       Thanks, [k_sra]. It's more a feeling of regret that English doesn't work that way. It could be done in some other languages though.
nineteenthly, Nov 20 2007

       The "on the roof" reference tried to slip by without explication, but what the flip. It's the punch line of a well-known joke that is essentially addressing this very issue. I will paraphrase from memory. Some will recall the joke told in the film "Capricorn One":   

       Jim calls his brother, who has been housesitting for him, at the end of a business trip:
Jim: Jeff, how's my cat?
Jeff: He's dead.
Jim: God, man. You could be more sensitive about giving me such an announcement.
Jeff: Sorry.
Jim: When I called two days ago, you could have said "He's on the roof and we can't get him down." Then when I called yesterday, you could have said "We tried to get him down, but he took a nasty fall". Then when I called today you could have said "He didn't make it". At least it would have emotionally prepared me.
Jeff: Sorry. I understand.
Jim: Where's mom?
Jeff: She's on the roof.
globaltourniquet, Nov 20 2007

       that's a good one, [worldbandage]. : )
k_sra, Nov 20 2007


       Thanks. I thought it was an euphemism for "dead", as in heaven.
nineteenthly, Nov 20 2007

       Dead Jane is not?
keithbrunkala, Nov 20 2007

       Not dead Jane is.   

       Going out she him with really is?
nineteenthly, Nov 20 2007

       To Dick, my condolences send.
RayfordSteele, Nov 20 2007


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