Date: Tue, 29 Oct 1996 01:07:05 -0500


Subject: Re: "don't" with 3rd-sg subj (was: NO TICKEE, NO SHIRTEE

I don't think it's as inconsistent as it sounds now to Mark, no. 3rd

person "don't" was actually quite posh in turn-of-the-century and 1920s

British English as far as I know-- though I haven't studied it any

further than reading Dorothy Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey novels and

such-like. There it co-occurred with -in' esp. in the well-known

huntin'/shootin'/fishin' words. These may well have been quite

informal then too, but don;t seem to have been automatic class

indicators or Wimsey wouldn't have used 'em (he said "'em" quite a bit


Perhaps it was hasty to call these locutions "posh"-- they may

have occurred only in breezy colloquial speech of upper-class scions

such as Wimsey-- but they definitely didn't seem to align style with

social class as we tend to assume nowadays. I *have* wondered whether

they might not be associated with leisure domains that brought the

peers into contact with rural dialect speakers, eg games-keepers on

their country estates. Anyone know?

--peter patrick