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(All the condoms are faulty. Abed need to notice everybody)
Go, Abed, Go. before people sex one another!

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This sounds like the weirdest reading primer I've ever heard. We're a long way from Dick and Jane and "Run, Spot, run!" – Robusto May 16 '11 at 10:39
What's ' Dick and Jane' ? – lovespring May 16 '11 at 10:51
@snooze: "Dick and Jane" refers to the title of an early reader book, one that most US native speakers probably used when learning how to read. – Kit Z. Fox May 16 '11 at 11:52
But at least half the title was appropriate ;) – mplungjan May 16 '11 at 12:22
@Kit, "most" US native speakers used it, provided that those native speakers are at least 50 years old. I don't think that Dick and Jane has actually been used in most schools since the 60s. However, it's entered the collective consciousness, so even people who have never actually read a Dick and Jane book (such as myself) know what it's about. – JSBձոգչ May 16 '11 at 12:28
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The construction of that fragment is a little convoluted, so let's break it down:

(You) go before {people sex one another}.

The subject "you" is implied, as is normal with the imperative. I've indicated this with parentheses. The word before is a conjunction, and it introduces the clause people sex one another, which is in curly braces.

The clause people sex one another is a straightforward transitive clause using sex as a verb, which in this case means "to have sex with". The object of the verb is the reciprocal pronoun phrase one another, which indicates that the action is being performed mutually within a group of two or more people. (This is subtly different from the reflexive, which indicates that the subject acts on itself.)

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I just don't know reciprocal pronoun phrase and 'one another' is a phrase. – lovespring May 16 '11 at 13:17

I've never heard "sex" used as a verb before. Also, the sentence beginning with "before" is incomplete.

I would rephrase the entire post thusly:

(All the condoms are faulty. Abed needs to notify everybody.) Go, Abed, go -- before people have sex with one another!


-- before people start having sex!

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Google "sexing" sometime. Maybe not at work though. – Jason Orendorff May 16 '11 at 16:50
It's not clear from the post, but this is actually a quotation from a clip. mplungjan posts the link in the comments below the post. In this case, it's an intentional misuse of language by someone who is supposed to be a non-native English speaker. – Kit Z. Fox May 16 '11 at 17:52

People sex one another.

Traditional grammar might analyse the clause as follows.

People = subject

One another = an elliptical parallel/parenthetical clause:

People sex; one sexes another.

People sex (one [sexes] another).

In this hypothetical elliptical clause, one would be subject and another object. This probably best reflects the origin of the phrase. JSBangs' very useful analysis, following modern linguistics, might be used by more traditional grammarians as well, because one another is a fixed, idiomatic phrase and the class of reflexive pronouns is well established as a suppletive class.

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So, you don't think 'one another' is object. and People is subject and also object too ? – lovespring May 16 '11 at 17:46
@snooze: No, I'd call people subject in any case. If you take one another as an elliptical clause, one is subject and another object in the hypothetical clause one sexes another. // If you take the whole phrase one another as a reflexive pronoun, it is object. – Cerberus May 16 '11 at 20:40

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