Positive anymore still once again

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed May 3 15:05:46 UTC 2006

At 12:20 AM -0400 5/3/06, Paul A Johnston, Jr. wrote:
>Dear Roger, Beverly, and the list,
>Interesting.  My data squares with yours.  My wife is from
>Cleveland, and she and all her father's
>side relatives are non-users.  But her mother's side, from the PA/WV
>border area (and one of the
>most interesting transition zones I've ever heard people
>from--Monongalia Co.), are solid users, in all
>contexts.  My two nieces, born in Cleveland, raised in rural Medina
>and Ashland counties, are non-
>users too.
>I'm from Northwest/North Central New Jersey, and I'd never use it in
>a million years, despite the
>presence of a few Midland phonological features amidst a general New
>York-like framework, but I bet
>it's quite common once you get south of the Raritan Valley.

As I mentioned a while back, there's one sports talk host on WFAN who
used to be known as "Joe from Saddle River" (northern NJ).  His
accent is definitely NYC metro in many respects, including
non-rhoticity, but he somehow developed positive "anymore".  My locus
classicus (fortuitously captured on tape) was this proclamation after
a Knicks playoff win (back when the Knicks had playoff games, let
alone wins):

"Another agita special.  The Knicks are a different team from kwawtuh
duh kwawtuh anymaw."

Now he has a regular gig 10-1 every weekday morning and he's known
more formally as Joe Benigno.  But he hasn't lost the positive
"anymore".  Just now he opined that "Shaq is mortal anymore"
(referring to the aging Shaquille O'Neal's vulnerability displayed in
the current series vs. the Bulls).  I suspect he fronts it too, but I
don't have any direct evidence for that.


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

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