*Lush* life > *luxe* life?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Jan 30 22:08:39 UTC 2008

My reaction is much like Wilson's, except I can recall when the _Star Trek_ split infinitive was actually being derided as a threat to English - not by a pedant but by a pedantic fellow English major!  And she wasn't kiddin', either!  That was about 1971.

  Moreover, I've often thought about the oddity of "to not X" over the years.  I won't swear I didn't hear it in NYC as a child, but I did notice white, mid-South freshmen using it like crazy by 1980.  That's because I had to grade their papers.


  Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Wilson Gray
Subject: Re: *Lush* life > *luxe* life?

Back in the day, prescriptivists were deadly serious about
stamping/stomping out the splitting of infinitives. From the fourth
grade, when I first discovered that the proper name of my native
language was "Ang-lish" and not "Merican," to my graduation from high
school in 1954, I saw and heard probably tens, if not hundreds, of
thousands of real and made-up examples of split infinitives, but never
a single example of "to not" nor did I ever hear or read "to not" till
"here of late," as we say in East Texas. So, I really do find it to
odd be quite, irregardless of how ordinary it may seem to others.


On 1/29/08, Laurence Horn wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Laurence Horn
> Subject: Re: *Lush* life > *luxe* life?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 9:59 PM -0500 1/29/08, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >And tyhat's not even strange. What's strange is something like the
> >shift of the seemingly-immutable word-order of strings like "I decided
> >_not to go_" to "I decided _to not go_," which didn't even have a
> >prescriptive rule against it, in my lost youth. This is not to say
> >that there's a prescriptive rule against it these days. I don't know.
> >But if *I* were writing a prescriptive grammar, there certainly would
> >be, even though I know that it's already been a lost cause for
> >dekkids. :-)
> >
> Well, there is that much beloved prescriptive rule against splitting
> infinitives, whether it's a case of deciding to not go or of
> accepting a mission to boldly go where no (hu)man has gone before...
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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