Unfortunately, shootings in schools and colleges have become so frequent in the United States that several websites have started to take score. The advocacy site Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, for example, maps and lists 152 school shootings in the United States since 2013. In June The Washington Post questioned that number as too high, but whatever the number, news of the shootings has encouraged many colleges and universities to plan how to respond to attacks.
So it happened last week that an official at a small Midwestern college told the faculty that the administration had begun work on a plan for responding to a shooting. A few minutes later, as a colleague stood to report on a different matter, I was surprised to hear her say, in a normal tone of voice, “Just shoot me.” Only after a brief pause did she continue, “a text.”
Shooting, with the direct object morphed to indirect, seems to have insinuated itself into a mot du jour. Here are just a few samples from the Internet:
“Just shoot me a text or an email if you want something made for the holidays!” — Deidre’s Sweet Treats, 2013.
“If anyone figures out how to slow things down, just shoot me a memo.“ —Online Instagram.
“Heyy shoot me a line so we can hear more about festival cortos rodinia.” (2014)
“I been checking you out, and want to get to know you a little better. What you say you shoot me your number and let me take you out this week end?” —Chyna S., Blinded by Love (2014).
The older version of “shoot me,” with me as the direct object, continues on. At the turn of this century, Just Shoot Me was a television comedy series lasting seven seasons from 1997 to 2003. A 2010 book by Cari Lynn Pace is titled, Don’t Shoot Me … I’m Just the Real Estate Agent! But the modern version of the expression disarms the listener, in more ways than one.
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