Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Which would be the correct way to form the following sentence:

"I just had piss shivers so hard that I almost dislocated my jaw."
OR
"I just had piss shivers so hard that it (they) almost dislocated my jaw."

Also, would it be correct to write it this way:

"I just had piss shivers so hard that my jaw almost got dislocated."

The problem that I have with the first sentence is that piss shiver isn't something that I did, it's something that happen to me, so is it still "I dislocated my jaw" or do they dislocated my jaw/it got dislocated? "I dislocated my jaw" sounds like I was doing something- eating, talking, piss-shivering. Not having experienced something.

share|improve this question
3  
I'd love to know what a piss shiver is. –  Barrie England Sep 13 '13 at 11:05
1  
@Barrie, piss shiver: straightdope.com/columns/read/1044/what-causes-piss-shiver –  Ste Sep 13 '13 at 11:09
2  
Thank you. Never heard of the phenomenon, and can't say I've ever consciously experienced it. –  Barrie England Sep 13 '13 at 11:16
1  
That is what I read, but it has never happened to me or anybody I have asked... –  Roaring Fish Sep 13 '13 at 12:56
1  
@mikhailcazi nope, I'm one of those "who don't" :)) –  Howard Pautz Sep 14 '13 at 14:17
show 14 more comments

1 Answer

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Either is correct in this case. According to MW, we can define "dislocate" as:

to move (a bone) out of its normal location or position in a joint

Since the piss shivers are causing you to jerk your jaw out of place, both you and the shivers can be considered the actor here, and you can say that either one almost dislocated your jaw.

The last sentence ("got dislocated"), while not the most common phrasing, is also correct. "I had piss shivers so hard that I almost suffered a dislocated jaw," is another good phrasing.

But let's answer the deeper philosophical question behind your asking about the piss shivers. Can you say "I dislocated" something if you didn't do anything? I would say yes, in most cases. If a friend of mine (call him Steve) were tackled randomly or struck suddenly by a car and suffered a dislocated joint because of it, it would not be bizarre for me to say "Steve dislocated his pelvis when that guy tackled him" or "Steve dislocated his elbow in the wreck". The only scenario I can conjure in which it seems inappropriate to say that Steve dislocated something is if someone (not Steve) is deliberately, carefully popping Steve's joint out of place.

All in all, if there's even a small element of chance in whether or not something will lead to a dislocation, you can say "I dislocated". However, if you're unsure, making something else the actor is perfectly fine, and we can say that "the wreck dislocated Steve's elbow" or "that guy dislocated Steve's pelvis when he tackled him".

share|improve this answer
    
I think I'm satisfied with this answer, thank you:) I guess it's just the difference between our languages. –  alphabethater Sep 18 '13 at 6:31
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.