Date: Thu, 5 May 1994 22:11:53 EDT
From: Larry Horn LHORN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YALEVM.CIS.YALE.EDU
Subject: Re: Anymore...
Rather than trot out my lengthy list of references on positive (non-polarity)
'anymore', I'll just suggest the poster check out the relevant entry in OED2
(on line or hard copy) or any other large dictionary. Yes, it's a well-known
dialect feature, and yes, it's been much discussed in the literature, going
back to several articles from our own American Speech circa 1931. And no,
it's not just an ignorant error by backwoods residents of X (where X is a
state or location particularly abhorred by the judge), as often claimed in
newspapers, users' groups, and even "expert" usage panels. I'm particularly
fond of the citation "Suffering bores me any more" [yes, two words, which
seems to be the British practice], from D. H. Lawrence's "Women in Love".
Others on this list can better pin down the isogloss, but it's been spotted in
virtually all sections of the country except the northeast and maybe urban
enclaves (Chicago? San Francisco?) elsewhere. What PERCENTAGE of speakers
use it, what percentage of the time, in which registers are questions I don't
know how to begin to answer.