split infinitive with "not" (1862)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 5 22:02:01 UTC 2008

Damn it, Jon! You had to find it, didn't you? You would probably even
kill Kenny, given the chance. :-)

Well, as Richard Pryor might have put it, "Nevertheless, 'to not' is
unreal, an' I ain't goin' fo' it!" ;-)


On 2/5/08, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      split infinitive with "not" (1862)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 1862 in Bell I. Wiley _The Life of Johnny Reb_ (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1943) 127: I still advise you and as strongly as ever to not come to the war. I tell you you will repent it if you do I do believe.
>   Perhaps the feature originated as an emphatic form.  This letter-writer was fom Alabama.
>   JL
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