Date: Fri, 31 Mar 1995 09:19:52 -0600
From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU
Subject: Positive Anymore
Although I still remember the first time I heard positive "anymore" and
remember wondering why the person who used it was talking in such a strange
way, I had thought since then (mid '60s) that it was on the increase and
that most people had at least heard it by now. They haven't. The topic
arose in my sociolinguistics class this morning, and I was surprised that
approximately 50% of the students had never heard it at all (none of my
students admitted to ever having used it). One student couldn't decide
whether she had or hadn't heard it from her husband, who "is from New
York and says all kinds of strange things." Several students didn't
understand what "anymore" meant in the example sentence I gave them.
They all understood what "I'm not reading many novels anymore" meant but
said that "I'm reading lots of novels anymore" didn't make any sense.
Since my dialect doesn't include positive anymore, I was afraid my example
might be wrong, so I had them look at the examples on p. 296 of Chaika.
They found it funny that she uses asterisks by the double modals on p. 297
(except for the first sentence, which she obviously made an error in --
"can might" for "might can") but that she doesn't put asterisks by
sentences like "Things are getting busier for me anymore." Almost all
of my students would call that sentence non-English but would call "You
might could see him" normal.
--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ra.msstate.edu)