February 03, 2008

will and won't, he and him

“Not only will I won’t quit, I can’t.”
[Mike Huckabee]

Sure, double modals are quite popular in the South, but here we're dealing with an idiosyncratic version: two instances of the same modal (will). And, to add to the oddness of this sentence, what exactly does "I can't won't quit" mean? He can and will quit?

Others struggle with hypercorrection:

"Yesterday, Barack Obama said there's not a dime's worth of difference between he and Senator McCain on illegal immigration."
[Mitt Romney]

Mitt Romney, between you and me, don't try to sound folksy. It may work for Mike Huckabee, but it won't work for you.

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