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« Unfaithful translations, or good ones? | Main | What's in a stock symbol? »

July 26, 2004


Neal Whitman

Actually, when I first read the quotation, I simply assumed that El Caliente must be a unibrow.

Anyway, I'm not sure about the analysis you present. First, if you don't factor out the 'his,' and instead repeat it with each singular noun, then the verb has to be plural (at least in my grammar):

(3) ...his passion, his devotion, and his U.E.E. {*is/are}.

So in other words, even if each noun is treated separately as its own entity, the verb must be plural in this case.

Now if we factor out the 'his,' and get rid of the distraction of how many eyebrows El Caliente has, we get this:

(4) ... his mother, father, and wife {*is/are}

The singular is only OK if you can conceive of the coordinated nouns as a single unit, as happens with 'pride' and 'joy' here:

(5) ... his pride and joy is sitting in the driveway.

Give your uneasiness of (2a), it seems that for you, 'passion and devotion' does not qualify as a reasonable single unit. And if 'passion' and 'devotion' aren't close enough semantically to do this, then certainly 'passion,' 'devotion,' and 'U.E.E.' won't be.

But in that case, you should have been perfectly happy with 'are' in (1). So what went wrong with it? My guess is that you were struck just be the singular 'eyebrow' instead of 'eyebrows,' but the more interesting topic of agreement with coordinated subjects drew you away from the initial irregularity. If I'm right, then (6) below should be fine by you. Just imagine that instead of a U.E.E., El Caliente had an Unusually Expressive Nose, and now:

(6) ...his passion, devotion, and unusually expressive nose are.

boris beecha kockoff

Bad grammar is the least of El Caliente's offenses.

Mark Martin

EYEBROW? Semantics?
How can you read a lifesize cardboard Hispanic that says "Together, El Caliente and El Pollo Loco are the hot ones, tempting viewers to indulge their passion" and "His massive grill is eight feet long and four feet deep" and not run straight to the Baby Magic aisle?
El Caliente's passion is wasted on you, egghead.


I'm not gay, as I have no sexual attraction towards men: however, I do think that the guy who goes under "El Caliente" name is hot -- which is why I'm letting my hair grow as well. In the mean time, though, I'll get me some hair extentions so that I, too, can wear it like "El Caliente." I guess the concept of being a Don Juan is what really seems appealing to me, being that I'm a Latin guy myself.

El Calientito

This is bullshit. How can you bad mouth El Caliente? He's the handsomest man on Earth and his hair is like dark black wine. You don't understand Pollo; you don't understand beauty; you don't understand anything!

I hope they never let you eat at Pollo ever again, you monster!

Semantic Compositions more BRC (bean, rice and cheese) burritos for me! I feel so deprived!

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