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Previously Undefined Colloquial English Expressions in an American Drama Series
This paper explores the usage of three colloquial expressions used in the American police drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit with senses which are not found in English dictionaries: all you want, stay with me, and who wants to know? The large-scale corpus Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) was employed to investigate these uses. First, all you want functions as an adverbial phrase by which the speaker conveys that however much the hearer continues specified actions they will not achieve their purpose. Next, stay with me can be used to plead with a dying person to stay alive. Finally, who wants to know? may convey the same meaning as “Who are you?” when the speaker is questioned by a stranger about his/her name, or the names or whereabouts of people who have some connection with the speaker.