a whole nother

language and thoughts about it

Tuesday, June 28, 2005



Apparently Scott wants to eradicate the usage of "a whole nother" (see number thirteen on his list... appropriately numbered, I think). This sounds to me like languicide, and I don't like it.

You don't scare me, Scott.


I'm Missing My Pants

Less than an hour ago, I heard Tim Brown say "whole nother." I didn't have a pen and paper on hand to write down the context, so I've since forgetten it. But I did not forget "whole nother."

It's like playing capture the flag and racing back to the other side, flag in hand, but then ripping your pants while running. Pants are replaceable, but flags are not.


Tripping and Falling

You know that feeling when you trip and you're about to fall but then you catch yourself? That in-between time of suspense sums up well how I feel this morning. Allow me to explain.

The trip...

This morning, Karen Barker, speaking to our seminar, said, "That's a whole other conversation..." Not only did she not say "nother" but she placed added emphasis on "other."

About to fall...

I was shocked, because I don't think that I have ever heard or read about this construction.

Catching myself...

But not a half-hour later, she said, "That's a whole nother conversation."

Monday, June 27, 2005


Keeping and Talking

This one not only warmed my heart, but also my soul.

"That's a whole nother resource."

...from the lips of Tim Brown, one of my new favorite people, speaking of Dennis Dewey on scripture memorization.

Friday, June 24, 2005


From My Own Lips

I suppose that I owe an apology to the faithful reader(s) of this blog. I never update. I'm sorry. I beseech you for forgiveness.

That said...

Today I heard Steve Chase from Western Theological Seminary say "a whole nother" while we were trying to solve some tech problems.

Last Thursday, I - yes that's right, yours truly - said "a whole nother." This is interesting for two reasons. First, this is the first time that I have accidentally said "a whole nother" since late mid-October of last year. Second, I said it while explaining the Sapir-Worf hypothesis, which postulates that much of our understanding of the world is affected by language.

Two weeks ago, I was paging through Time magazine and I found an article from the 70s with "a whole nother" in the title. It had to do with the banning of either alcohol or tobacco ads (I can't remember which). This tells me that the whole nother phenomenon has been around awhile. It's also fascinating that it appeared in print (rare) in a major newsmagazine (really rare) and in a title of an article (is it rare in here or is it just me?) of a really controversial subject (everything else has now become a mere privation of rare).

And, "a whole nother" is dropped quite frequently in the seminars office, where I've spent quite a bit of time the last few days.

That's all for now. I'll probably update in a few days; meanwhile, continue to have a great summer, spread the gospel of whole nother, and be sure to share your stories in the comments.


April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   October 2005   November 2005   March 2006  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?