[Ads-l] "said no X ever"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jun 27 10:48:41 EDT 2017


> On Jun 27, 2017, at 4:48 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> In my experience, moreover, the "ever" often gets emphatic stress.

I’ve often heard it without any stress on “ever” or the rest of the tag.  I assumed the idea was to make it appear like other parenthetical tags—“said my sister”, “said the Washington Post”, or whatever—while of course the function is to cancel the entire preceding statement in the manner of retro-NOT or ironic "I *don’t* think”.  Those last two, on the other hand, are indeed always stressed.

When it’s a retort rather than a cancellation, so that the utterer of “Said no one ever” is distinct from the utterer of the previous claim, there of course has to be stress, but even then I haven’t noticed that it’s the “ever” that gets an unusual amount of stress.  

Too bad it appears to be on its way out, so it’s harder to find corroboration or disproof for our competing claims.  

LH 
> 
> 
> 
> On Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 9:00 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> On Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 4:36 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> 
>>> I don't believe I've ever heard it without the emphatic "ever."
>> 
>> 
>> I have the same feeling, FWIW. Maybe I've simply never noticed it without
>> the "ever."
>> 
>> Youneverknow.
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> -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."
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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