Not all that

Benjamin Barrett bjb5 at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Wed May 5 02:25:45 UTC 2004

I think your example is what I take to be the correct intonation (I'm
really lousy at accent and intonation in writing). To my ears, "WASN'T all
THAT" is probably correct. Glenn just said the sentence with normal diction.

When Glenn spoke, I interpreted his sentence to mean "not that" with the
"all" being out of place.

I'm pretty sure about my impression of the intonation, but my
interpretation could be off. I was just listening to the radio on the way
to school without particularly concentrating. And, of course, the event was
over in milliseconds.

Benjamin Barrett
Baking the World a Better Place

>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]
>On Behalf Of Wilson Gray
>Could you use something like "it's NOT all *THAT*!" or some
>such to illustrate the patterns? I'm accustomed to hearing
>this said about people, e.g. "she's not all that (and a bag of
>fries)," etc., with all sorts of intonation patterns "_It's_
>not all that" is kinda strange. What was the context? However,
>if you don't feel like delving further into this, feel free
>not to reply. I won't take it amiss.

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