Date: Sun, 13 Feb 1994 12:39:00 METDST
From: "Jon Grepstad, LR" JGR[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]FTRHU.KUF.DEP.NO
Subject: Too in initial position
As a foreigner interested in American and British varieties of
English, I have been following the discussion in this list with great
interest for a couple of months.
As periodically an avid observer of American and British usage I
have a couple of times come across the use of "too" (with the meaning
of "also") in initial position in sentences in *written* English.
1 How common is this structure in written English?
2 Does this structure occur both in American and British English?
3 Does it primarily belong to the written language? Or is it mainly
found in spoken English (American, British or other)?
4 If this structure also occurs in spoken English (American,
British or other), is it a regional variety?
5 Do you have any other comments on this usage?
The following is a quote from Irving Wallace's novel "The Prize",
where I first came across this structure, nearly 20 years ago:
[...] Literature, on the other hand was another matter. Almost
everyone could could read, and if you did not read, you could
appreciate the offering of a book through secondary media like the
stage and films and wireless and television. *Too,* [my asterisks]
you could identify with authors, poets, historians, for even if you
did not write books, you wrote diaries and letters and scraps of
messages and telegrams, and if you could not write, you told fictions
to your wife or tall tales to the children at bedtime. And if you
were Count Bertil Jacobsson, why, you wrote your precious Notes.
(Irvin Wallace, The Prize, New English Library edition 1975, p. 217)
I apologize if my questions would be somewhat outside the scope of
this list, or if the answers are too obvious to native speakers.
Information Officer, The National Council for Teacher Education,
P.O.Box 8150 Dep, 0033 Oslo, Norway
E-mail: jgr[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ftrhu.kuf.dep.no
Disclaimer: My ignorance is mine alone.