what and what not

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 24 23:08:36 UTC 2010

At 6:04 PM -0500 11/24/10, Neal Whitman wrote:
>I have no problem with it whatsoever.

I would have to say "...what to and what not to cover", but I
wouldn't be surprised to hear the more reduced version.  This seems
like something Arnold may have written on at some point...


>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
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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