[LMB] OT: Implicature (second and last part)

Sylvus Tarn sylvus at rejiquar.com
Sun Jun 11 18:09:25 BST 2006

On Sat, 2006-06-10 at 13:45 -0500, Jim Parish wrote:
> The problem, as I see it, is this. How do you phrase it, when you want
> a 
> statement that applies to the second of two and also to the last of
> more 
> than two? I don't see that there's any alternative to "last" (unless
> you 
> want to be unusually verbose); that being the case, I see "second of 
> two" as part of the meaning of "last", sometimes suppressed by the 
> conventions of implicature (just as the inclusion of "all" within
> "some" is 
> usually suppressed, in ordinary speech).

I think `last' is just fine.  But the place to go to read top-drawer
discussions of this sort is languagelog---they had a post about the
between you and me and the lamppost (and resolved to that phrasing, if I
recall correctly) but unfortunately I couldn't find it. 

If there is an overall theme to that blog, though, I would say it is
tolerance.  Though there are indeed (sometimes egregious) errors
committed in language usage, multiple yet acceptable solutions to
various linguistic problems such as the one you cite are far more common
than you would think.

And quite often, the posts are funny as well as informative, which is
why I'm plugging them again:)

Here's the link to their main page:


sylvus tarn

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