Your Pain Is Our Pleasure
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February 3, 2004
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It's "Hey, you," or "Hi, you guys."
Of course you can possess integrity or loyalty.. That's absolutely correct. Whether you can be "possessed of" them is a little different; strictly speaking you can (it's not absolutely wrong), but as Ed and CQ point out, it sounds strange to the average modern speaker.
You still sometimes see it used in a wry sort of way, though, for instance: "As Mark walked out of his drunk girlfriend's apartment, he slyly possessed himself of her car keys so she wouldn't be able to drive that night." Or, Mom's favorite, "You can't just walk up and possess yourself of anything in the fridge."
Note the use of "himself," "yourself," etc.
The last serious use I saw of this construction was in a Victorian-era novel, in which the hero had befriended a man in trouble, who later turned out to have been a nobleman; upon that nobleman's death, our hero suddenly "found himself possessed of the old gentleman's entire legacy."
Who, me? Um... yeah, that's how my partner thinks I drive, anyway. LOL
Sure, as soon as you Brits start to drive on the correct side of the road. :))
OK, nice to hear from an expert. Got any links to material that supports and enlarges upon the claim, Dennis?
OK, I'm going to go do actual work now....
Not to mention what goulash looks like to the people below you when you throw it, lukewarm, over a balcony at a movie theater while making juvenile retching noises....
OK, I swear I've never actually DONE this, so the movie buffs in the group need not crucify me....
Heretic!! Burn the heretic! Burn the.... waaaaaaait....
As an ethnic Hungarian who regularly makes goulash (my father insists on "gulyas," its spelling in Hungarian), I guess I'm a cooking expert :) but I have nothing to add to what Persephone said, since I actually had never heard the term before.
But given that goulash is a stew, and Communism presumably follows the marxist doctrine of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need," the term makes me think of the fable "Stone Soup." (grin)
Oh, my, we have a word that isn't in the dictionary. Whatever did the language do before there were dictionaries? Were all the words just wrong?
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