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.

In Iron Man the movie, Mr. Stark said:

I am Iron Man.

to reveal his concealed identity.

In which case, the sentence was used to identify who he is. (specifying use)

Now, if he was trying to brag about how "great" he is, as is often the case, could he be saying the same sentence to those who already know he's Iron Man? (ascriptive use)

I am Iron Man. And you know I can do things that you can never imagine.

In case my question above is not clear to you, I was asking whether "I am Iron Man." in the latter example does not identify who he is but ascribes the property of "Iron Man" to the subject "I".

share|improve this question
    
Can you give sentences where the two different interpretations are clearer? Right now it is still unclear what you're asking about. –  Mitch Dec 4 '12 at 13:15
add comment

closed as not a real question by Andrew Leach, Rory Alsop, tchrist, Marthaª, Mark Beadles Dec 4 '12 at 18:29

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers

Both cases could be spoken ascriptively, depending on whether the audience is familiar or not with Iron Man and his powers.

A parallel example is the movie "This Is Spinal Tap". The title is prescribing the name to people unacquainted with the group. It is also ascribing their awesomeness to people who've been rocked by them.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
add comment

Those who already know his being Iron Man could feel intimidated or threatened by the fact that he restates his name. This makes his title itself seem great.

Did I answer your question? I wasn't sure what the question was.

share|improve this answer
    
I have edited and rephrased my question. –  JK2 Dec 4 '12 at 7:48
add comment

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