not to mention

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forgoodorill

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi, everyone.

I read a book recently named The Glamour of Grammar. There's a sentence really confused me.

When they heard the King growl "You ain't nothin'but a hound dog," the grow-ups would holler:" There ain't no such word as 'ain't.'" Not to mention that double negative:" Well, if you ain't nothin', then you must be somethin'."

Here's my question: the definition of 'not to mention' is 'used when you want to emphasize something that you are adding to a list: ' So the meaning of this sentence here is the grow-ups don't let the author say 'ain't', also 'double negative'. The 'double negative' even more worse in grow-ups' view?

My understanding is true? Please correct me, thanks in advance!
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    My understanding is true?
    No.
    the grow-ups would holler:" There ain't no such word as 'ain't.'" Not to mention that double negative:" Well, if you ain't nothin', then you must be somethin'."
    They would holler: There ain't no such word as "ain't".
    But, it's also obvious that the grown-ups' use of a double negative, There ain't no such word, is wrong. Because if there ain't nothing, there has to be something.

    So it means the grown-ups would point out his use of "ain't" but the construction they used themselves was wrong too.
     

    Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    True, Barque, but the question was about 'not to mention', which does indeed suggest adding something that is 'even worse' (the double negative is even worse than the 'ain't'). It is often used humorously, as here – and may not literally mean that people thought it was worse, it's just kind of saying, 'we've told you about one bad thing, but have you noticed the other bad thing in these lyrics?')
     

    forgoodorill

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    No.

    They would holler: There ain't no such word as "ain't".
    But, it's also obvious that the grown-ups' use of a double negative, There ain't no such word, is wrong. Because if there ain't nothing, there has to be something.

    So it means the grown-ups would point out his use of "ain't" but the construction they used themselves was wrong too.
    Thanks! And the grow-ups' criticism of 'ain't, they use their understanding of 'ain't' to explain it, but the explaination they given, is also wrong.
    Is this your meaning? Barque? I think I still can't understand it, sorry.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Looks like I misread Forgoodorill's question, and the passage too. Sorry. Yes, I think you've got it.

    The grown-ups objected to the King's use of "ain't" but another problem was the double negative "ain't nothing" in the King's sentence, which they didn't seem to notice. (And ironically they used a double negative too.)
     

    forgoodorill

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    True, Barque, but the question was about 'not to mention', which does indeed suggest adding something that is 'even worse' (the double negative is even worse than the 'ain't'). It is often used humorously, as here – and may not literally mean that people thought it was worse, it's just kind of saying, 'we've told you about one bad thing, but have you noticed the other bad thing in these lyrics?')
    Thanks your reply. I think your explanation is befitting. Thanks, you helped me a lot of times!
     

    forgoodorill

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Looks like I misread Forgoodorill's question, and the passage too. Sorry. Yes, I think you've got it.

    The grown-ups objected to the King's use of "ain't" but another problem was the double negative "ain't nothing" in the King's sentence, which they didn't seem to notice. (And ironically they used a double negative too.)
    Thanks, Barque. Now I know it. And it seems the grow-ups used double negative wrong.:D
     
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