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    #1

    I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll

    I think
    Code:
    I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll
    means that he likes country and rock 'n' roll


    But why?


    I havn't found anything in my dictionaries.

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    #2

    Re: I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll

    It's no wonder you haven't. It's spoken language which allows creating different kinds of nonce words (words coined especially for that occasion). Country and rock'n'roll are not adjectives usually, but they are used as adjectives here.

    I am not a teacher and can be entirely wrong.

  1. IHIVG's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll

    I suspect this was taken from the song.

    When it comes to the songs, it's pretty common for performers/songwriters to coin new words like mmasny said; or to use some non-standard (or even ungrammatical) construction for the sake of the rhyme for example, or to better fit the words into the line, etc.
    A friend of mine (a native English speaker), said that there are some songs you frequently come across nowadays that don't seem to make much sense. So maybe it might be better not to give too much weight to some of the odd lyrics' lines.

    As for this particular line, I think you might be right; the person seems to give an idea that he's into country and rock'n'roll.
    Anyway, it's always up to a listener to interpret the songs as they like.

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    #4

    Re: I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll

    Donny and Marie Osmond were a brother-and-sister team who had a tv show in the 70s. They sang this song together - She sang the "I'm a little bit country" to show that her musical (and my implication, her personal tastes) ran to the more country-and-western aspects of music and a simple life, while he sang "and I"m a little bit rock-and-rock" to show that he was more hip, and favored modern music.

    I'm sure the wonders of youtube will show you the two of them singing. You may even get a glimpse of his famous purple socks. You will surely get a glimpse of their famous big white teeth.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll

    *not a teacher*

    This grammatical construct often indicates affiliation with a certain (social) group or identification with a certain subject. It is used in spoken informal language.

    As you already pointed out "I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll" means that person is partial to both country and rock 'n' roll music.

    "He is a bit country" can also be used to allude that someone is not so sophisticated, when it is known that that person actually came up from the country.

    Other examples are:

    "He's FBI." --> He is with the FBI.

    "I don't trust him. He isn't street like us." --> I don't trust him, because he hasn't lived his entire life on the street. He is not one of us.


    As to your question of "why" I can only say that language is highly dynamic in it's own right and most of the time one cannot distinctly tell why certain things have emerged within a certain language like they have. Pragmatism is always a safe bet, though.
    Last edited by Shenfeng; 31-Mar-2010 at 17:13.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    ... nonce words (words coined especially for that occasion)...
    One of my favourite words, because of its derivation. It's a fossil, dating from the time when English had case/gender inflexions; the dative of 'the' was 'then' and of 'one' was 'ones - so a nonce word was a word coined for then ones. The joining of the n across the word boundary is the mirror image of the change that gave us, for example, 'an apron' from 'a napron'.

    (Just happened to be passing. Carry on please. )

    b

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    #7

    Re: I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    One of my favourite words, because of its derivation. It's a fossil, dating from the time when English had case/gender inflexions; the dative of 'the' was 'then' and of 'one' was 'ones - so a nonce word was a word coined for then ones. The joining of the n across the word boundary is the mirror image of the change that gave us, for example, 'an apron' from 'a napron'.

    (Just happened to be passing. Carry on please. )

    b
    They say it was 'than' here:
    nonce abstracted from phrase for şe naness (c.1200) "for a special occasion, for a particular purpose," itself a misdivision of for şan anes "for the one," in reference to a particular occasion or purpose, the şan being from O.E. dative def. article şam. The phrase used from early 14c. as an empty filler in metrical composition. Hence, nonce-word "word coined for a special occasion," 1954.
    And there's a similar one here:
    nines in phrase to the nines "to perfection" (1787) first attested in Burns, apparently preserves the ancient notion of the perfection of the number as three times three (e.g. the nine Muses, etc.
    "[T]he Book of St. Albans, in the sections on blasonry, lays great stress on the nines in which all perfect things (orders of angels, virtues, articles of chivalry, differences of coat armour, etc.) occur." [Weekley]
    No one seems to consider that it might be a corruption of to then anes, lit. "for the one (purpose or occasion)," a similar construction to the one that yielded nonce (q.v.).

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll

    The first quote gives the 'a' vowel, and the second gives 'e'. Of course, as the writers knew, it was neither!

    b

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    #9

    Re: I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    The first quote gives the 'a' vowel, and the second gives 'e'. Of course, as the writers knew, it was neither!

    b
    I don't know anything about Old English (although I have stepped a little bit forward already). I have a question. Did they use dative after for really?

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    I don't know anything about Old English (although I have stepped a little bit forward already). I have a question. Did they use dative after for really?
    I'm not sure whether OE scholars call it 'the dative', but in notes to my Chaucer text when I was at school, they used the term (actually 'ethic dative - which meant nothing to me then, and even less now). Chaucer's 4/500 years later than OE, but it's an indicator...

    And whatever the case was called, 'for' took it - I don't know how consistently (less and less in actual end-OE practice).

    b

    b

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