Date: Thu, 23 Feb 1995 07:37:03 -0700
From: Bruce Gelder bgelder[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CAMEL.SIM.ES.COM
Subject: Re: "different than"
A general query:
Can anyone provide a chronology of "different than" in American English?
I have observed it to be highly geographical and chronological: few
over 50, at least in the mid-Atlantic, and fewer Southerners yet would
say anything but "different from," on the model of the verbal expression
"this differs from that."
I thought James Baldwin's "Go Tell It On The Mountain" (1950?)
contained the earliest printed mention of "different than" but later
found an earlier work, whose name I can't remember.
Can anyone shed some light? --Cathy Bodin cbodin[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]msmary.edu
"Different than" has been in print fairly widely throughout the U.S. and
in Britain since either the 17th century or the 18th century, and self-
proclaimed usage experts have been condemning it ever since. I don't have
any citations with me right now, but I'll try to dig some up in the next
day or so, unless other people beat me to it.
bgelder[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]camel.sim.es.com