Positive anymore still once again

Roger Shuy rshuy at MONTANA.COM
Wed May 3 02:48:50 UTC 2006

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIO.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Positive anymore still once again
> Roger, you're from Akron, as I recall?

        That's right. As McDavid used to say, people who moved to work in
Akron's rubber factories came from south of there, where there was low
fertility of soil and high fertility of family. It was made up of about 40%
West Virginians when I lived there (including the mayor).

 I never get Cleveland students who
> say it, but Akron, Marion, Mansfield, etc. are all in the North Midland
> belt and use it.  I have a colleague from Akron who uses it, of course, as
> does a colleague from Peru, Indiana (that's ['pe ru]).  And I recall
> hearing David Letterman use it once (he's from Indiana too, though I can't
> recall the city); as in your case, the audience was silent, failing to
> catch whatever the joke was that hinged on understanding positive
> 'anymore'.  (They were silent when he used "needs washed" once too.)

        So what's funny about "needs washed"? Still sounds fine to me.
> As a non-user from Minnesota, my own first hearing of it was at the ADS
> summer meeting in Albuquerque in 1980, when Frank Parker gave a paper on
> all the possible and impossible uses of it.  I still have that handout
> somewhere.

        Hmm. I never saw that paper or even heard about it.
> Beverly Flanigan
> Athens, Ohio (where it's not used natively either)
> At 08:31 PM 5/2/2006, you wrote:
>> To add a bit of history, maybe.
>> About thirty or more years ago, at one of the early NWAV meetings (when we
>> still held them all at Georgetown, where NWAV started), I, as usual, had a
>> houseful of speakers staying with me. One of them was my good friend, Bill
>> Labov. The five or six people staying with me always had long discussions at
>> my home after the meetings ended, often going into the wee hours. At one of
>> these, I made a  comment something like, "Anymore we have some really good
>> talks at NWAV." The room went silent, then Bill asked me about this
>> construction, which was so native to me that I didn't have a clue about why
>> the rest of the room was amused, or surprised, or something. I believe this
>> discussion was a stimulus to the following ongoing research on positive
>> anymore. The rest is history.I still use it unabashedly and I still can't
>> figure out why others are amused, surprised or something. Sounds just fine
>> to me.
>> Roger
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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