LINGUIST List 3.209

Wed 04 Mar 1992

Disc: Not

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  1. , RE: 3.184 All's, Not
  2. SLSHELLY, Re: 3.184 All's, Not
  3. Joe Danks, An Early NOT!

Message 1: RE: 3.184 All's, Not

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1992 11:41:06 RE: 3.184 All's, Not
From: <ckamprathkean.ucs.mun.ca>
Subject: RE: 3.184 All's, Not


Re: NOT!

Has anyone mentioned this variety, if it is one, practiced by my
sister and her 14-year-old friends in Houston 25 years ago:

 A: He's a great dancer.
 B: I'm pretty sure. (uttered with disdainful low and falling
pitch, stress on each word)

I think that both A and B thought that he was not a great dancer.

The same expression could be used with a positive sense, in the same
way that "I'm not believin' it", also used in that speech community,
was positive. I think that two such teenagers could go to the
Grand Canyon and one could say "I'm pretty sure" and the other
could say "I'm not believin' it", not in response to each other
but to the sight, with the same meaning: "I'm cool, but I'm not
totally insensitive to what is obviously an awe-inspiring experience."

C. Kamprath
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Message 2: Re: 3.184 All's, Not

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 92 10:10:27 ESRe: 3.184 All's, Not
From: SLSHELLY <SHELLYUKCC.uky.edu>
Subject: Re: 3.184 All's, Not

Just a quick confirmation of the examples provided by Larry Horn
and Dr. M. Sebba: my 75-year-old mother, a native Oklahoman raised
in Texas, read Linda Shrieves's article on "not" and responded
to me as follows -- "I wonder if an expression of MY early youth
might have been the primitive beginning: 'I don't think.' For
example: 'Welcome home -- I don't think!' or, 'He's a real jewel --
I don't think!', etc."
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Message 3: An Early NOT!

Date: Tue, 03 Mar 92 07:07:59 ESAn Early NOT!
From: Joe Danks <JDANKSKENTVM.bitnet>
Subject: An Early NOT!

My teenage son discovered a retroactive "not" in a one-act play he directed
at school. "The Eve in Evelyn" by Glenn Hughes, copyrighted and published
in 1928, depicts parents chasing after their daughter who has just eloped.
The mother and father are talking:

MRS. PRICE [through her tears]. They're married. What can we do? In the
sight of God they're man and wife. All we can do is forgive.

MR. PRICE. Yes, we will! Not! We'll find them to-night and annul the
marriage to-morrow.

>From _Fifty More Contemporary One-Act Plays_ edited by Frank Shay, New York:
Appleton-Century Co., 1928, p. 283.
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