Marijuana made her killed by her husband

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JungKim

Senior Member
Korean
A news article titled "Denver Man Who Said Marijuana Made Him Kill His Wife Gets 30 Years" starts with this:
A Denver man who claimed that eating marijuana-infused candy led him to kill his wife was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison in a case that helped raise concerns about the potency of pot edibles.

Richard Kirk, 50, was charged in the April 2014 shooting of Kristine Kirk at the couple's home. Moments before he shot her in the head, Kristine Kirk told a 911 dispatcher her husband was hallucinating and was getting a gun after eating pot candy.

Kirk initially pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder but right before he was about to go on trial in 2015, he changed his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity, claiming that he was intoxicated with THC, marijuana's psychoactive ingredient.
So, it's clearly correct to say in this context, "Marijuana made a Denver man kill his wife."
What about these sentences then in the same context?
Marijuana made a Denver woman killed by her husband.
Marijuana had a Denver woman killed by her husband.
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The Denver man said that marijuana made him kill her. So as you say, it's correct to say: "Marijuana made a Denver man kill his wife."

    But it didn't make or have her do anything.

    We can use have in a context where there is a deliberate intention, such as "Denver man had his wife killed by a gunman". But marijuana (so far as I know) isn't capable of deliberately hiring a hit-man!
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    When this grammatical construction is used with the verbs ask, have or make, it implies that the mind of the subject of the verb influences the mind of the object of the verb.

    So this one is fine.
    Alfred asked Bert to kill Caroline. :tick:

    This one might also be possible.
    Alfred asked Bert to be killed by Caroline. :tick: Bert wanted euthanasia, and asked Alfred about it, and Alfred did not want Derek to do the deed: he wanted Caroline to do it instead. Here Bert is not a passive victim. Despite being the subject of a passive verb, he is a driver of the action: it is his mind that is influenced.

    However, it is difficult to construct a similar sentence with "make" or "have" in place of "ask", because these verbs tend to imply that the subject of the sentence is in control.

    It is different with the verb cause.
     
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    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Alfred asked Bert to be killed by Caroline. :tick: Bert wanted euthanasia, and asked Alfred about it, and Alfred did not want Derek to do the deed: he wanted Caroline to do it instead.
    But that's a dangerously ambiguous phrasing, isn't it?
    My first reading was - and in the absence of context still is - that Alfred is the one who wants to get killed by Caroline and he asked Bert to facilitate the process.
    In other words: "Alfred asked to be killed by Caroline." -> Whom did he ask? He asked Bert. Ergo: "Alfred asked Bert to be killed by Caroline."

    [edit: typos]
     
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    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    But it didn't make or have her do anything.
    That's simply because she was the "patient" of the action of killing.

    We can use have in a context where there is a deliberate intention, such as "Denver man had his wife killed by a gunman". But marijuana (so far as I know) isn't capable of deliberately hiring a hit-man!
    But you confirmed:
    it's correct to say: "Marijuana made a Denver man kill his wife."
    Where marijuana "isn't capable of deliberately" doing anything to make him kill his wife. Still, that sentence works.
    So I'm confused.

    And I think se16teddy was saying the same thing as follows:
    When this grammatical construction is used with the verbs ask, have or make, it implies that the mind of the subject of the verb influences the mind of the object of the verb.
    ...
    However, it is difficult to construct a similar sentence with "make" or "have" in place of "ask", because these verbs tend to imply that the subject of the sentence is in control.
    Again, I could argue that the subject "marijuana" in the grammatical sentence "Marijuana made a Denver man kill his wife" does NOT imply that the subject is in control.*

    Therefore, I doubt that the ungrammaticality of either of the OP's two sentences (Marijuana made/had a Denver woman killed by her husband.) should be attributed to the fact that the subject 'marijuana' isn't capable of engaging in a deliberate action or being in control of the situation.

    If my doubt is justified, then what is the real reason for not allowing these sentences?

    By any chance, is either of these alternatives with added "be" possible?
    Marijuana made a Denver woman be killed by her husband.
    Marijuana had a Denver woman be killed by her husband.


    *EDIT:
    Alternatively, I think you could say that marijuana is in control of the Denver man in "Marijuana made a Denver man kill his wife", because that's exactly his defense "involuntary intoxication", which means he was under the influence/control of marijuana as follows:
    Kirk's attorneys sought lenience on the grounds that he had consumed THC to relieve back pain and it had severely impaired his judgment. They also argued he suffered "involuntary intoxication" because he did not know he was at high risk for marijuana psychosis due to schizophrenia in his extended family.
    If indeed marijuana is in control of his action of killing his wife, then se16teddy's argument denying such control is invalid.
     
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    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    1. The man claimed that he was under the control of marijuana. So we can say "Marijuana (allegedly) made a Denver man kill his wife". To use the word "made" simply implies power or control, as in "The rain made us cancel the garden-party".
    2. Nobody claimed that marijuana has the intellect or willpower to give instructions, so we can't say "Marijuana had a Denver woman killed by her husband". To use the verb "have" in such a construction means that orders were given.
    You can put either of these constructions into the passive, though it's rarer. But the fact remains that marijuana can't "have" anything be done.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Alfred asked Bert to be killed by Caroline.
    But that's a dangerously ambiguous phrasing, isn't it?
    My first reading was - and in the absence of context still is - that Alfred is the one who wants to get killed by Caroline and he asked Bert to facilitate the process.
    In other words: "Alfred asked to be killed by Caroline." -> Whom did he ask? He asked Bert. Ergo: "Alfred asked Bert to be killed by Caroline."
    I never said it was unambiguous - nothing ever is. I was trying to test the limits of a different interpretation.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    And please someone comment on the passive construction with 'be':
    Marijuana made a Denver woman be killed by her husband.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    And please someone comment on the passive construction with 'be':
    Marijuana made a Denver woman be killed by her husband.
    I cannot follow the whole thread, so what comment do you want on this?

    It seems like nonsense to me. Will that satisfy your comment needs?

    It is a ludicrous / impossible relationship of ideas. It starts with the myth that any drug can "make" someone do anything then compounds that problematic idea by further confusing the actual agency.
    Best to keep it simple:
    "The husband killed his wife".

    Edit to add: you make your first mistake in your OP when you miss out the notion of CLAIMING. The man CLAIMS there was a causal link between his dope taking and his wife's murder. That doesn't make it "true".
    So any grammatical transformations you make should keep the "claim" element. Which you didn't.
     
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    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Do you mean that it's possible to say "Marijuana made a Denver woman killed by her husband", though it's rare?
    This is ungrammatical. The version with "be" is better in terms of grammar, but it carries the implication that the effect of the marijuana was on the woman and not on her husband (in other words, it sounds like marijuana did something to the woman that caused her husband to kill her). I don't think this is the meaning you're looking for.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Edit to add: you make your first mistake in your OP when you miss out the notion of CLAIMING. The man CLAIMS there was a causal link between his dope taking and his wife's murder. That doesn't make it "true".
    So any grammatical transformations you make should keep the "claim" element. Which you didn't.
    * No, it is not clearly correct.
    What would be correct is: The man said marihuana made him kill his wife.
    It is a claim. The claim is an important part of the meaning and you have left that out.
    I'm not sure why a sentence should be "true" (whatever that means) in order for that sentence to be grammatical.
    If that's the case, any sentence that doesn't qualify as a statement should be ungrammatical, which leads to an absurdity of calling any question ungrammatical simply because a question is never a statement, true or not.

    For example, the question, "Did marijuana make him kill his wife?", should be ungrammatical according to your logic. But it's grammatical, I think.

    Let me make an "untrue" statement that is still grammatical.
    I am a native speaker of English.
    Without the "I claim" part in I claim I am a native speaker of English, I think it's grammatical.

    EDIT: Maybe you're misunderstanding the meaning of 'correct' in this thread. Throughout the thread, the word 'correct' only means 'grammatically correct'.
     
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    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    This is ungrammatical. The version with "be" is better in terms of grammar, but it carries the implication that the effect of the marijuana was on the woman and not on her husband (in other words, it sounds like marijuana did something to the woman that caused her husband to kill her). I don't think this is the meaning you're looking for.
    You're right. That's not the meaning I'm looking for. And thanks for mentioning the 'be' construction.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I'm not sure why a sentence should be "true" (whatever that means) in order for that sentence to be grammatical.
    Don't go down that road! It would open Pandora's box, starting with the definition of 'grammatical'.

    The construct "to make somebody <past participle used as adjective>" IS grammatical in its essence -- even if some past participles make the phrase semantically nonsensical!
    For example, "The mere mention of his name made her agitated." :tick:
    BUT "The mere mention of his name made her illustrated." :cross: This sentence (in my view) is grammatical, but because of the verb 'to illustrate' it is nonsensical.

    "to make somebody killed" appears to work the same way -- but it does not. The way I see it, "killed" cannot (easily) work as an adjective (maybe because of the dominant adjective 'dead'), therefore in phrases like 'was killed/is killed/got killed' the past participle killed must always be interpreted as the verbal form of 'to kill'.
    As a result, the phrase 'made somebody killed' can indeed be considered ungrammatical, even though it seems to follow the generally grammatical structure "to make somebody <past participle>".
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Don't go down that road! It would open Pandora's box, starting with the definition of 'grammatical'.
    It's not about the definition of 'grammatical', it's about the definition of 'correct'.

    The construct "to make somebody <past participle used as adjective>" IS grammatical in its essence -- even if some past participles make the phrase semantically nonsensical!
    For example, "The mere mention of his name made her agitated." :tick:
    BUT "The mere mention of his name made her illustrated." :cross: This sentence (in my view) is grammatical, but because of the verb 'to illustrate' it is nonsensical.

    "to make somebody killed" appears to work the same way -- but it does not. The way I see it, "killed" cannot (easily) work as an adjective (maybe because of the dominant adjective 'dead'), therefore in phrases like 'was killed/is killed/got killed' the past participle killed must always be interpreted as the verbal form of 'to kill'.
    As a result, the phrase 'made somebody killed' can indeed be considered ungrammatical, even though it seems to follow the generally grammatical structure "to make somebody <past participle>".
    I was not asking about the construct "to make somebody <past participle used as adjective>" but about the construct "to make somebody <past participle used as a verb>".
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I was not asking about the construct "to make somebody <past participle used as adjective>" but about the construct "to make somebody <past participle used as a verb>".
    It is not a past participle - it's an infinitive without preceding 'to', the so called 'bare' infinitive:

    Marijuana made man killed his wife.:cross:
    Drugs make man kill wife.:tick:
    Drug makes man shot wife dead:cross:
    Drug made man shoot wife dead.:tick:




    As far as a headline effect is concerned, 'Marihuana Makes Denver Man Kill Wife!' would be posssible, because it is short for 'smoking marijuana made him kill his wife' which in turn is short for 'a man from Denver killed his wife because he had been smoking marijuana'.

    Using the drug, or anything without will of its own, as the subject to start the phrase, emphasises it. We readily understand the personification and can even use two inanimates:
    'Record rains have made the river burst its banks.' Here, 'burst' is a bare infinitive.
    If we use 'cause' instead we use a 'to +infinitive':
    'Record rains have caused the river to burst its banks'.
    'Marijuana caused Tom to kill his wife'.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I was not asking about the construct "to make somebody <past participle used as adjective>" but about the construct "to make somebody <past participle used as a verb>".
    Ah, thanks! That makes things clearer! The answer then seems simple, I guess: That's always wrong, incorrect, and ungrammatical. :p (as Hermione and the others have shown with their examples above)

    A sentence can only have one finite verb, hence "I made (=finite, conjugated verb) somebody <past participle as verb>" seems impossible.
    Non-finite verbs, as far as I can see, can only take the infinitve form or the progressive infinitive (even though this is often simplified [and/or confused!!] with the term gerund or present participle)
    Ergo:
    I made him kill my dog. :tick:
    I saw him kill the cat. :tick:
    I saw him being killed by a train. :tick:
    I saw him killed... :cross: This version may(!!) be heard in colloquial spoken form but I consider it grammatically wrong. It is a colloquial ellipsis: I saw him [being/get/getting] killed.
    If I'm wrong with this, please don't be shy! I'm used to be criticized and accused of being wrong. :D

    Unfortunately though, your "Marijuana made her killed by..."-example does not qualify for this elipsis.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    You need to read some Steven Pinker. That makes it all clearer than I can!
    Grammar and meaning are intricately linked and saying things that are nonsense makes a nonsense in grammar terms too.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    You need to read some Steven Pinker. That makes it all clearer than I can!
    Grammar and meaning are intricately linked and saying things that are nonsense makes a nonsense in grammar terms too.
    I don't know about Steven Pinker. Nor am I sure if I can make time to read his works just to get what you mean by 'correct'. You have still not responded to my post 15, but at least I'm not the only one who thinks that it is "correct" to say "Marijuana made a Denver man kill his wife" without the "He claimed" part.
    So as you say, it's correct to say: "Marijuana made a Denver man kill his wife."
    And I'm sure that Keith Bradford meant "grammatically correct" when he said "it's correct".
     
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