Heard on Springer: _everybody didn't know_

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 7 10:52:12 UTC 2011

I share your "not" feelings.  "*To not boldly go": no way!

However, over the years I've slipped into the adverbless "to not X" camp in

It cuts thirty years off my age.  ("Yes, way!" cuts more.)


On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 12:45 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Heard on Springer: _everybody didn't know_
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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
> Youneverknow.
> 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."
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> 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

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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