what and what not

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Wed Nov 24 23:04:34 UTC 2010

I have no problem with it whatsoever.


On Nov 24, 2010, at 1:36 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      what and what not
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> My acceptability meter occasionally goes haywire, but I wanted to run it
> by anyway...
> There are almost 2 million raw ghits for "what and what not". After the
> first several pages, many become spurious (even some of the early ones
> are), but that's beside the point--such a high raw count would normally
> imply acceptability. And most of the uses that the search produces are
> [almost] fine by me. But the original fragment that sent me there keeps
> me scratching my head and I can't quite figure out why:
> http://goo.gl/mBttU
>> From the TSA's blog post describing what and what not to bring through
>> airport checkpoints: ...
> Compare that to
>> Deciding what and what not to cover.
> and
> http://goo.gl/bqfoY
>> OpEdNews - Article: What And What Not To Say To A Marine
> But the front page lede for the latter column is
>> What we should and should not say to those in the Marines and in any
>> other branch of the military should mix respect for their position and
>> intentions with a challenge not to be used as hired guns.
> The body of the article does not use either phrasing. (http://goo.gl/scmea)
> Certainly, "should and should not" does not bother me in the slightest,
> but "what and what not" leaves a bad taste in my mouth even when I find
> it less objectionable than the first-mentioned piece. Any suggestions?
> derisions?
> For the most part, my suspicion is that when one uses "what and what
> not" or "what or what not" usually just "what not" would do.
>     VS-)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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