a whole nother

language and thoughts about it

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.

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