English word order and bumper stickers
|From:||Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 14, 2004, 14:24|
Saw a bumper sticker this morning that gave me pause:
AMERICA BLESS GOD
Now, this is not the appropriate forum to discuss my feelings on the
USA's recent theocratic tendencies, nor do I wish to do so. No, what
we have here is a striking example of the importance of word order in
English. Sure, we have subject becoming object and vice-versa, but
that's old hat; "dog bites man", etc. But in the same swell foop
we have moved from humble petition to stunning presumption!
I mean, let's assume for the moment that God exists; let's assume,
furthermore, that He is even the God of Abraham and Isaac as originally
described in Jewish scripture. Why would He need, want, or even care
about America's blessing?
Of course, I assume that we have a simple mistake in intent, where the
author hasn't quite twigged onto the unidirectionality of mortal/deity
interaction verbs in English, i.e. gods do the blessing, while worshippers
are limited to praise/cursing, supplication, etc.