Sunday, March 8, 2009

He, himself, got nailed...

Another reader writes:

Can the accusative (which I'm guessing means all the forms of -self) also be used for emphasis, e.g. "Can you believe that Spitzer, Mr. Altar Boy himself, got nailed on a prostitution charge?"

Excellent question. First off, we'll presume that the reader means the reflexive and not the accusative as the pronoun form that ends in -self. In the case that the reader describes above, "himself" is itself a reflexive pronoun whose antecedent is "Spitzer," and is the object of the implied verb "is."

To some extent, one could argue that "himself" is entirely redundant, but it's a nice way of adding emphasis, as Dr. Suess did in How the Grinch Stole Christmas:

He brought everything back, all the food for the feast.
And then he, he himself, the Grinch carved the roast beast.

At least that's what I think.

While we're on the topic, as relates to former Governor Spitzer, while he was nailed on the charge, some believe that, at least at the Mayflower Hotel, it was the lovely and talented Ms. Dupre who was getting nailed.

1 comment:

David said...

so then what IS the accusative?