Archive for אוגוסט, 2018

John Oliver Misses a Zeugma

Zeugmata Zeugmas are fun. We love them here on Dagesh Kal. Our inspiration at Language Log love them too (there's a list of posts here).

And yet, they might not be for everyone. Watch this snippet from John Oliver's August 5 show (17:17-17:34, or follow this link, or tell me how to embed non-YouTube videos on WordPress's new look).

I'm pretty sure the ad slogan mocked here is a moderately-clever zeugma on the verb try.

You see, to try (as in put to trial) a lot more often is a reasonable DA campaign promise (for those who are into that kind of thing). To try (as in, make an effort) harder fits just about any campaign.

Perhaps due to Oliver's (and his show's staff) low esteem of political ads, or the large variance between the frequency of the two meanings of try, or something I'm missing, he jabs at it as though both harder and a lot more often refer to effort.

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