New use of "unless"?

Gregory {Greg} Downing gd2 at IS2.NYU.EDU
Tue Jan 23 16:47:16 UTC 2001

At 11:27 AM 1/23/2001 +0800, you wrote:
>This would be one of many cases where the OED's "obs." should really
>be "obs. and dial."  I don't think "lest" necessarily figures in
>larry [horn]

The English Dialect Dictionary might help with the possible history of
nonstandard "unle(a)st" between 1600 and 1900, but I don't have a copy here
with me.

It's hard to be sure where the "t" comes in. It could be liaison, as
suggested earlier, and/or a natural enough (con)fusion of two conjunctions
having similar sounds and not unrelated meanings, due (after all) to a
geunine genetic link.

Greg Downing, at greg.downing at or gd2 at

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