[Ads-l] besides = 'except'

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jun 1 01:08:57 UTC 2016

I don't mind this (where "this" = "besides" in the sense of 'except', not your tongue-in-cheeky reverse "substitute with").  The OED has (s.v. "besides" prep.):

3. Other than, else than: in negative and interrogative (formerly sometimes in affirmative) sentences, capable of being rendered by ‘except, excluding’.

For me, and apparently the soaps, no restriction to NPI-licensing contexts is needed.  Here's a lovely example from a sermon:

1715   R. South 12 Serm. IV. 37   The Jews..for ever unsainting all the World, besides themselves.

Hard work, doing all that unsainting.

Of course "beside" might have been used instead if they wanted a sexier scene and had a king-sized bed on hand:

> "So everybody else is lying beside you!"


> On May 31, 2016, at 8:53 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Anymore, it's like some people are substituting "besides" with "except."
> Today's "Young and the Restless":
> "So everybody else is lying besides you!"
> The context made the meaning unmistakable...
> ...unless you think word meanings mean something. (Or do I mean "anything"?)
> JL
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