Heard on Springer: _everybody didn't know_

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 7 04:45:23 UTC 2011

Mid-twenty-ish, otherwise nondescript, white male speaker:

"Things were so confused that _everybody didn't know_ what was going on."

I've considered the possible existence of this structure, instead of the usual

"… nobody knew what was going on"

for dekkids.

Of course, its one-time occurrence is indicative of not much, IMO, though


I *never* imagined that _to not V_ could occur. Yet, it not only
occurs, but it also seems to be well on the way to driving old _not to
V_ down. And, in my grammar, at least, there's no connection between
this structure and the split infinitive.

"to boldly go" / "not to boldly go." Nothing to see here, folks. But,
"to boldly go" / "to not boldly go." Are you kidding me?!

OTOH, I can't come to a decision WRT "to boldly not go."

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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