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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


You would like that, wouldn't you?

What word do you stress in that sentence so that it is sarcastic, not a sexual come on?

edited to add: Thank you for all the input! As Lina notes, just about every response is different. I have a hunch that although when I said this yesterday, I had intended it as sarcastic (or facetious, actually), but it came out as my wanting naked sexy time. That would explain the look of horror on the poor cute little grocery checker's face!

My next challenge is for all of you to audio blog your responses! I'd love to hear all of you trying out the phrase with differential stresses and intents.


At 9:22 PM, Blogger Anastasia said...

i say stress "would" if it's sarcastic and "like" if it's sexual.

At 10:50 PM, Blogger StyleyGeek said...

I think either stress pattern (LIKE or WOULD) can be made to sound either sexual or sarcastic depending on the tone of voice. Or maybe it depends on what you do with "that".


You would LIKE THAT, wouldn't you?
You WOULD like THAT, wouldn't you?

("that" maybe not as stressed as the other word, but with a raise in pitch and a light stress.)


You would LIKE that, wouldn't you?
You WOULD like that, wouldn't you?

(Voice drops on "that")

At 11:14 PM, Blogger Propter Doc said...

I'd go for YOU WOULD like that, wouldn't YOU? for sarcastic.

And you would LIKE that, WOULDN'T You? for a come on. I'd make 'wouldn't' sound like a dare.

There would be more indications of sarcasm - like raised eyebrows, slight head tilt to the left (I do that when I'm being sarcastic I think) and probably one hand on a hip in a matronly manner. A come on would be softer voice, leaning towards the person and making obvious eye contact.

At 12:18 AM, Blogger Bella Sultane said...

I agree with Propter Doc about the word emphasis. I also think that most of the distinction is in the tone of voice/body language.

At 5:21 AM, Anonymous Lina said...

All in the tone.
Sarcastic: you WOULD like that, WOULDN'T you.
Sexual: you would LIKE that, wouldn't you.
Heavens, all different responses practically - us five commenters probably shouldn't meet.
Why you asking, hon?

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Lina said...

Oooh, I'll do my best British porn star voice for ya! Remember that thing Luckybuzz and everyone had... the answerphone thing...? Get that!

At 10:05 AM, Blogger shrinkykitten said...

Lina: I would love to - but I don't have a microphone on my laptop!

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Lina said...

Actually, do you know, I don't even have speakers!

At 12:57 PM, Blogger shrinkykitten said...

No speakers? That's so antiquated!

Do you have your books back?


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