Magazine article The Spectator

Mind Your Language: I Love It That You

Magazine article The Spectator

Mind Your Language: I Love It That You

Article excerpt

I had never heard the Country (Red Dirt) singer Wade Bowen before, although his latest album Hold my Beer (Vol 1) has already sold 14,000 copies. On an earlier album, he provided textbook examples of two constructions that I find increasingly annoying, and one that seems fine.

'I love it that you're my girl,' sang Wade. 'I love that I'm your man.' I didn't care for either of those declarations one bit. 'I love it when you take my hand,' he added. I didn't mind that at all.

This business of I love that... is on the rise. I heard Fi Glover say it on Radio 4, and someone in one of those rather unsatisfactory internet discussions about grammar wrote, quite spontaneously: 'Jane, I love that you mention how English is a living language.'

You and I, I take it, would say, 'Jane, I love you mentioning', or, if we felt that mentioning was a good, solid, beefy gerund, we might make it, 'Jane, I love your mentioning'. Thus we'd reach for a noun or the equivalent as the object of the verb love . 'Beggars love brawling,/ And wretches love wrawling,' as it says in A Mery and Pleasant Prognostication , a book from the 1570s which doesn't sound all that mery. …

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