reanalysis or nonce blend?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed May 2 00:27:25 UTC 2007

My feeling is that the same syntactical trick appears once or twice in _Catch-22_ (1961). The novel became extremely popular around 1968, just as _Lord of the Rings_ was starting to lose its hold and shortly before _Portnoy's Complaint_ stirred the Vice-President to televised outrage.


Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote: ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society
Poster:       Laurence Horn
Subject:      reanalysis or nonce blend?

from today's NYT, article about the Yankees' current hard times and
the uncertain fate of manager Joe Torre, D3:

"This can't be about the perfect ending anymore than it wasn't for
Bernie Williams"

(Williams was jettisoned from the team after last year, following
many years of valiant service.)

The meaning appears to be precisely that which would have been conveyed by

"...any more than it was for Bernie Williams"

(I'd spell "any more" as two words here, as well as getting rid of
that excrescent neg.)
There seems to be exactly one similar google hit (with the same
syntax), also from what one assumes is a non-negative concord (i.e.
"standard") source:

The irony of recording a meaningless life isn't lost on me any more
than it wasn't lost on Laurence Sterne, author of Tristram Shandy


P.S.  In connection with an earlier thread (the "rhythm rule"), there
was discussion today on ABC's World News Tonight of an "external
heart", a device that saved a child's life in South Carolina.  It's
called the "Berlin heart", a German import that has not yet been
approved by the FDA yet, except on a case-by-case waiver.  But each
time it was referred to, it was called a "BER-lin HEART", not a
"Ber-LIN HEART", as if it were manufactured up the road from here in
BER-lin Connecticut.  The rhythm rule strikes again!

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