So I'm driving to work, single cartoon theme songs (What? Like you never did that?), when I had an illumination about the closing theme of the "Flintstones". The original ran -
Someday, maybe Fred will win that fight,
Then that cat will stay out overnight.
And the cartoon shows him taking the cat out, who then jumps back in and throws Fred out of the house. But the cat (a man-sized sabertooth) is never a real member of the family, appearing only irregularly, and the family pet is Dino (who in his first appearance could talk, but that's a story for another day).
But once you remove the pictures, the song means something else. The "fight" is not with the cat, but rather with Wilma, and "that cat" is not a real cat, but a hip reference to Fred himself. Fred suddenly becomes more domesticated and henpecked, hence a real cat was inserted into the setup to make Fred more of a family man.
Why yes, there was traffic on the way to work, and I had time to think about this a lot. Why do you ask?
All right, you, break it up: Dialogue and reactions - I haven’t found anything in any of my usage or grammar texts about this particular topic. I suspect it’s because the issue is one more of craft or art than...
19 hours ago