‘Whole Nother’: Wrong or Right?

other is a word that actually has the same function as other And otherand its use dates back to the early 14th century. By the end of the 19th century, the word was seen becoming more common. other combined with fullphrase construction the whole other. The reason this is often considered a mistake today is that the phrase is almost exclusively used in dialogue or to express written informal speech.

The job of lexicographers would be a little easier if they could take requests. Imagine being able to freely browse Twitter, see what words and usages annoy people the most, and then just… ignore them? We might even get out in time for happy hour.




But alas, we’ll need to double-check those margaritas because otherdespite how it may appear, is in fact a real word.

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“I don’t know what we would do if we had to stay indoors all day in the dark.”

History of Nother

The rules of inclusion and exclusion are governed by usage more than sentiment and other has a history spanning centuries. The Oxford English Dictionary there are citations for the word dating back to the early 14th century and you don’t have to search much in the following centuries to find evidence of it. other works in the same way as other or other.

For prudence is a culmination that infallibly leads a man to the right path (ryghte waye inclynynge or wauerynge) no more than on one side or the other…—Thomas Paynell, The attack and conquest of Heuen1529

Now it looks like it’s time to move forward with Muscles of Other Organs, before muscles of other organs let’s see how they can be deciphered.—John Banister, The history of man sucked from the most approved Anathomistes’ Sappe1578

….however, you are very far deceived if you think that there is no other word of God but that which sowers and shoemakers can read in their mother tongue.—Alexander Alesius, Of the Auctoritie of the Word of God Agaynst Bishop of London1544

Starting in the 18th century, we see it used quite a lot in personal letters (especially those written by people who are not familiar with traditional writing or are not very interested in it).

I inform you that the Indens prevented all the Jentlemen from going down the river. In the first place, the Indens killed a Murphy, a merchant, and wounded and a Nother and Robed the Canews alerted the people. Jentlemen abound…—Valentine Crawford, Letter to George WashingtonMay 7, 1774

those are all the pieces of my hood, there’s another piece the same size.—Nettie Oblinger, Letter to Jessie RoeschJanuary/February 1894

North is paired with Whole

At the end of the 19th century, we began to see full combined with other (usually with single quotes):

“Will the fog be gone by tomorrow morning?” Patty said consolingly. “I don’t know what we would do if we had to spend all day indoors and in the dark.”—Mrs. Molesworth, The story of a spring morning1890

However, I begged Mrs. Sayer to let the boys stay home for a day, and she finally agreed; and when we were once again in bed, and the conversation had grown languid, and Ponto banged his tail on the floor again, Keats raised his head from the pillow to whisper, sleepy but passionately, “Gee-oh, – a long day at home tomorrow!”—Lucy S. Furman, Motherhood in Danger (IN century magazine), 1911

Nothing wrong?

Around the middle of the 20th century, people began to notice it and decry it as a disgusting language. No one bothers with the phrase “no word of god,” but they certainly will if someone says “that’s absolutely nothing for god to say.”

See more:  What is a conjunction?

One possible reason for this change could be that its use in the early 20th century was almost exclusively used in dialogue or to reproduce illiterate spelling.

“Is there a strike here?” I innocently asked. “A year and two months,” she replied almost contemptuously, as if any fool should know that. “Why, they used to have five hundred people working here, and now there are only about sixty people left. They have a whole ‘floor other than this one’.—Life and Labor(Chicago, IL), June 1920

And with a higher neckline that doesn’t always have a neckline—the individual fur pieces definitely have a bit of a bounce. But that’s a whole other article…—Newsletter Newspaper and the Sun (Binghamton, NY), October 20, 1932

Isn’t this the best world you’ve ever lived in? I had such a hard time! I have lived a completely different life for the past 18 months.—Questioner Cincinnati(Cincinnati, OH), July 3, 1933

Based on the evidence, we must ultimately judge that other is actually a word. It may not be official, but the fact that so many people are talking about it means it’s very much alive.

Categories: Usage Notes
Source: vothisaucamau.edu.vn

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