Friday, October 19, 2012

‘I will not vote (although I will)’

It’s a bit like finding a butterfly...

I spent quite a bit of the afternoon discussing attributive use (in some sentences about reasons – a subject for a future blog post) and then relaxed with a cup of tea and Nate Silver's psephology blog. And in the comments, a beautiful attested example of attributive use.

The bit in question is the second part of the second sentence (after the colon). What is especially nice is that  in the added material in parentheses he gives his own opinion, which given that it is the exact opposite of the one before the brackets, makes it quite clear that in the bit before the brackets he is expressing a view that he attributes to Gallup’s model.

It seems incredible how Gallup manages to consider unlikely voters people who will in effect vote. I took Gallup's likely voter model and tested it upon myself: I will not vote (although I will)
1. Thought given to election (quite a lot, some) some 0
2. Know where people in neighborhood go to vote not all 0
3. Voted in election precinct before (yes) yes 1
4. How often vote (always, nearly always) nearly 0
5. Plan to vote in 2012 election (yes) yes 1
6.Likelihood of voting on a 10-point scale (7-10) 9 1
6. Voted in last presidential election (yes) yes 1
total =4; < 5; unlikely voter.
(From a comment by ‘Pete58’ on this post on a blog about polls in the US election at The New York Times. I’ve corrected a typo: motelmodel.)

This is either a kind of free indirect quotation, or at least an instance of a larger category that includes free indirect quotation. That is, it’s like the way that the second sentence is used in the last example below:

a. Mary said to me, “You are neglecting your job.”
b. Mary told me I was not working hard enough.
c. According to Mary, I am “neglecting” my work.
d. Mary was pretty rude to me. I am neglecting my job!
(From p. 413 of Wilson, D. (2000). Metarepresentations in linguistic communication. In D. Sperber (Ed.), Metarepresentations: a multidisciplinary perspective. (pp. 411–448). Oxford: Oxford University Press.)

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