3

In a recent Daily Show episode, Jon Stewart said this (position: 00:40 in video):

Can the rest of us get us one of them thousand-foot gun-free perimeters?

I am not a native speaker, so I am interested whether or not the above sentence is grammatically correct. Please be specific.

1
  • I hope it is clear that Jon Stewart had no interest in being grammatically correct. He was being vernacularly correct, playing a part in an authentic style. Aug 23, 2015 at 22:59

2 Answers 2

4

Can the rest of us get us one of them thousand foot gun free perimeters?

There are two things 'wrong' with this.

1) 'get us' - where get is reflexive, we'd say "get ourselves", not "get us".

2) 'one of them' - should be 'one of those'.

I haven't seen the clip, but knowing the Daily Show, it's important to understand that John Stewart wasn't 'trying to sound uneducated' (as Robusto has it); rather, he's mocking the uneducated by caricaturing how they might speak. My guess, given it's relating to gun control, is aping how a Texan red-neck might speak if he ever realised that gun ownership is ridiculous (I'm not stating my view; this is what Stewart is implying).

People do sometimes use 'them' for 'those' to appear less educated than they are, but this is not Stewart's intention here.

4
  • 1
    Yes it is what he was doing. You mock someone by trying to sound like them and exaggerating the effect. What he was doing was tantamount to calling them "rednecks".
    – Robusto
    Jan 13, 2011 at 20:02
  • Are you sure about that first point? Can you get me a cup of coffee? is OK, but Can I get me a cup of coffee? is not? Instead Can I get myself a cup of coffee? is correct? Jan 13, 2011 at 20:08
  • @Šime Vidas: Yes, that's right, "Can I get me a cup of coffee" would be considered wrong in standard English, but it is used in many colloquial dialects, and also by people being humorous :)
    – psmears
    Jan 13, 2011 at 20:34
  • 3
    I'm gonna go ahead n give Phil one of them there upvotes. Maybe I can get me one some day too. He sure do talk good.
    – rownage
    Jan 13, 2011 at 21:02
2

No. The pronoun that should be used is "those" as in

Get us one of those thousand-foot perimeters.

Using them instead is bad grammar and sounds low-class. In fact, when people are trying to sound uneducated (as, say, in acting or humor), substituting them for those is probably the most common way of achieving the effect. John Stewart was obviously doing just that.

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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