The Corner

Re: Pinker’s Stinker

A follow-up to my post on Steven Pinker’s baseless op-ed (which is crassly titled “Oaf of Office”):  You can’t imagine how little interest I have in getting involved in a dispute over Bob Dylan’s lyrics, but reader Eric Rosenberg calls to my attention that the Bob Dylan website’s version of “Like a Rolling Stone” uses exactly the phrase that Chief Justice Roberts quoted in his dissent in this case:  “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose”.  (Apparently, the version that includes “ain’t” is commonly sung.)  So the Chief Justice is the faithful textualist, and Pinker has zero evidence for his assertion that Roberts “has altered quotations to conform to his notions of grammaticality” or otherwise has a “habit of grammatical niggling”.


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