Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 10:02:03 EST
From: Larry Horn LHORN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YALEVM.CIS.YALE.EDU
Subject: Positive _any longer_?
I'm passing along this datum and query from David Dowty:
Every heard of "positive _any_longer_", i.e. used in a [non-negative]
upward-entail context like positive _anymore_? This morning, while
NPR's "Morning Edition" on my clock radio was dragging me out of a
sound sleep into a semblance of consciousness, I realized that the
asterisk light in my brain was flashing, and when I had come to a bit
more, I realized it was because I was hearing something like
"(It seems that) the purpose of citizenship any longer is to ..."
By the time I was awake enough to grasp why this sounded funny, I
could not longer remember what the actual sentence was. But I did
catch that the speaker was the mayor of Missoula, Montana, a Mr.
Kemitz (or Chemitz?). Happen to catch this? Have you ever heard
_any_longer_ used this way?
We've talked intermittently about positive "anymore" here, and I've enjoyed
reading Murray's 'Positive _anymore_ in the Midwest' (in the "Heartland"
English volume edited by Tim Fraser), but I certainly haven't come across this
apparent extension, blend, or whatever. Seems like people are willing to say
anything any longer.
By the way, I remember him as being Kookie [not Kooky] Burns. 77 Sunset
Strip, right? Haven't thought of him in decades. Lend me your comb, indeed.
I'm not sure I ever figured out what it might mean to be "the ginchiest", but
there it was.