Don't let's

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Wed Jan 16 21:19:05 UTC 2008

[Finally united with a mac of my own & a reasonably serviceable mail
program, I can begin to enjoy again the entertainments of ADS-L.]

While "don't let's" is grammatical, probably most of us say "let's not" in
its place.  They aren't quite equivalent, IMO, in that "do not let us"
appears to be outwardly addressed, while "let us not" is reflexive.  Perhaps
this is why BB isn't quite comfortable with it. The former has a kind of
archaic quality (cf., eg., "lead us not into temptation") & as such shares
the liability to be pushed to the sidelines & denigrated, like "ain't."
Just my speculation.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired,
signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger & are
not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."  --Dwight Eisenhower

<sagehen at>

on 1/16/08 1:27 PM, Mark Mandel at thnidu at GMAIL.COM wrote:

> On Jan 16, 2008 12:05 PM, Geraldine Hizer <Urqu at> wrote:
>> re: 'don't let's)
>> I echo Benj. Barrett's response.
>> GH
> On Jan 16, 2008 12:10 PM, Geraldine Hizer <Urqu at> wrote:
>> Should add to my 'echo' - am from MO, by way of central IL.
>> GH
> Ahhh... Since you didn't include his response (below) in yours, and you
> didn't reply in thread (your subject line was "Re: ADS-L Digest - 14 Jan
> 2008 to 15 Jan 2008 (#2008-16)"), and you didn't connect your geographical
> background with your "echo", I'll bring them together in-thread... tying up
> the loose ends, as it were.
> from    Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at>
>> date    Jan 15, 2008 5:18 PM
>> subject    Re: Don't let's
>> mailed-by
> Since I'm the only one so far who has said this is ungrammatical,
>> perhaps I should provide more detail.
>> I think I'm the only one of the people responding who is from the West
>> Coast. AFAIK, I have heard this construction only two or three times in
>> my life, about thirty years ago. I think the main person I heard it from
>> was a child of Great Depression Alaska homesteaders.
>> I would therefore understand this to be a regional variation, but would
>> never generate this sentence and consider it to break MY rules of
>> grammar. BB
> m a m
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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