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Let's don't be too hot headed... Options
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, March 5, 2018 7:02:41 AM

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Hello!
This is from "Gone With The Wind" by Margaret Mitchell:
Let’s don’t be too hot headed and let’s don’t have any war.

Either I've been mistaken my whole life (well, to date...), or the normal way to say a thing like that would be:
Let's not be too hot headed and let's not have any war.

I.e. the construction is Let's not do it.
Right? Anxious

If so, then I wonder whether Let's don't do it is also "normal", and is it used often?

Thank you!
Kirill
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, March 5, 2018 7:15:28 AM

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No, it's not normal - it's just wrong (in standard English) - it may be considered "OK" in some dialect.

I've also heard "Don't let's do it" - that's also wrong.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, March 5, 2018 7:22:49 AM

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Thank you! So it's just the guy's way.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, March 5, 2018 7:32:48 AM

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I've never read the book or seen the film, but I believe it's all in various cotton-plantation and other "Geowgian" dialects. It is set in Georgia, the American one.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
NKM
Posted: Monday, March 5, 2018 1:56:21 PM

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"Let's don't" certainly seems ungrammatical, but it's quite commonly used in informal speech, at least in American English.

What's wrong with it, of course, is the extraneous "do" in "Let us [do] not …." We know it's wrong, but most of us don't usually consider it worth complaining about.

Hope123
Posted: Monday, March 5, 2018 4:41:34 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
I've never read the book or seen the film, but I believe it's all in various cotton-plantation and other "Geowgian" dialects. It is set in Georgia, the American one.


My favorite book and movie of all time, Drago. I refused to read the sequel written by others after Margaret Mitchell died because it might ruin the original for me. I believe GWTW was the only book she ever wrote. All you have to do is read the opening sentence to see what good writing is - she grabs you with that first sentence.

"Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were."

When characters in a story speak, they do so in their own words, and the words are not always correct grammar in any language.

Edited to add - https://first10pages.com/2010/02/09/gone-with-the-wind-margaret-mitchell/


The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
mactoria
Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 2:03:45 AM
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Kirill: It's right that you asked for advice on the grammatical correctness of this sentence, and NKM and Hope have given you accurate information.

This is a good example for readers of books to understand the history and background of the books they read. In this case, "Gone With the Wind" was written by Mitchell about a lengthy time period in American southern history from about 1865 to sometime in the late 1870s or early 1880s (been a while since I read it and I'm not absolutely sure how old Scarlett O'Hara is when she tells Rhett Butler off). So you are reading a book about a region in America which has/had its own dialect and idioms, as well as a mixture of other languages from many different countries that had been coming to the US (mainly Scots-Irish-English for the white people, Western African countries for the Blacks). Each country added its own pronunciations, idioms, grammatical errors, etc. as people tried to meld into using the American version of the English language. Thus, it's not surprising that characters use different grammatical structures, some wrong and some just unusual.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 3:17:51 AM

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Thank you very much, everybody!

I love the book, and yes - I do understand characters speak in their own words that do not have to always be stictly grammatically correct. I ask questions to sort out what's wrong from what may work as an acceptable option. In this case I understand based on the answers above that although "Let's don't" is wrong it is kind of a mistake that may go unnoticed and tolerated by others, at least in the US.

I notice Georgians of the time also used some French words - e.g. beau / belle when referring to young men and ladies. All this is very interesting.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 3:44:37 AM
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It's only now I realise how lucky I was to have parents who had been actors. They always put on accents and different voices when they were reading to me, so from a very early age I came to know that English was spoken in a variety of ways and dialects, and with words unfamiliar. When I started reading myself then, I became quite familiar with the 'plantation talk' from Uncle Remus stories, Mississipi River talk from Huck.Finn,the old Country English dialects from Worzel Gummidge, broad Australian from The Magic Pudding.

So I'm glad you're enjoying Gone With The Wind - reading is a marvelous way to experience all the different sounds of English dialects and speech patterns - without leaving one's own home! It opens up whole new worlds of English one could never hope to come across in text books. (And it's a cracking story, too!)
whatson
Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 4:33:29 AM
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*
Beau/belle not limited to Georgia of the time.
*

I am a lay-about.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 5:50:31 AM

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whatson wrote:
*
Beau/belle not limited to Georgia of the time.
*

Are you talking of Canada? Angel
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 5:58:02 AM

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Whatson was probably talking from a Canada viewpoint, but it's true in Britain, too.

A boyfriend could well be called a beau, in those days (and more recently). It sounds a little dated now, but would be understood.
"The belle of the ball" is still used.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 6:15:43 AM

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During the 18th century in Britain beau was used as a nickname for two important figures.

"Beau" Brummell probably the quintessential dandy.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beau_Brummell

"Beau" Nash also a dandy and a leading figure in the spa city of Bath.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beau_Nash

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 7:27:49 AM

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Sarrriesfan wrote:
During the 18th century in Britain beau was used as a nickname for two important figures.

"Beau" Brummell probably the quintessential dandy.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beau_Brummell

"Beau" Nash also a dandy and a leading figure in the spa city of Bath.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beau_Nash


Hmm, so do you think the use of the word "beau" in the sense "boyfriend" has something to do with these two men?
Think

At least in "Gone with the Wind" they seem to use it without any side (negative) connotation, and their "beaux" do not necessarily look like dandys... To me, a dandy is almost too handsome in the sense he pays too much attention to his appearance, while their "beaux" are sons of plantation-owners, most of them well-off (I mean, before they engaged in that war...) and dressed in fine cloths where appropriate, but not exactly the type that I understand "dandys" are. d'oh!
whatson
Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 9:19:29 AM
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*
Of course beau isn't an expression widely used these days
(definitely not by teenagers, yet occasionally,mostly jokingly
by older people who remember) but a few decades ago
it was still in use (as in the novel) in the sense of

претендент
ухажёр
ухаживатель

Now it's simply boyfriend.

I am a lay-about.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2018 3:41:10 AM
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Kirill,

The word "beau" is the masculine of 'beautiful' - "belle" is the feminine.

Brummel and Nash weren't "Dandies" - in fact their fame came about because they WEREN'T Dandies. In an age when men strode around in pale pink silk shoes and patterned stockings, and miles of frills and lace; Brummel and Nash brought a sense of masculinity back: everything they wore was plain, of the finest quality, and beautifully tailored and fitted. It's unlikely that the sense of "boyfriend" had any connection with them.

And, strictly speaking, in England, at least, it never had that connotation. One's "Beaux" were simply the eligible men who asked one for a dance, or to take one in to supper at a ball...the "pool" from which a future husband might appear. The concept of a "boyfriend" did not appear until the 20thC.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2018 4:47:41 AM

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Beau Geste (1939)




and The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977)




They surely were too hot-headed ;-)


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2018 5:06:43 AM

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Then, of course, there's Beau Peep.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Thursday, March 8, 2018 10:00:27 AM
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This morning I was watching some American news clips and, probably with this thread at the back of my mind, I started to take note: "They want him to not stand down", "He was told to not go there", "It would have been impossible to not see him", "They were instructed to not answer the memo".These forms were used over and over in all of the clips.

Over the last year there's been new words, phrases, syntax, coming over the airwaves; and actual words themselves have lost a lot of their importance, gravitas and true meaning.

Be interesting to see if these usages stick around after the current Admin. has changed? But this "to not go", "to not do" thing just seems ludicrous, so I hope it, at least, doesn't linger.
NKM
Posted: Thursday, March 8, 2018 4:22:45 PM

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Hi, Romany -

Are you saying that what's important is to not split an infinitive?  Whistle

OK — I know you better than that, and I only asked that silly question to make a point, which is that sometimes (rarely) "to not" works better (or at least more emphatically) than "not to".

I think that most of us, American or not, no matter how little we care about splitting infinitives, are somewhat reluctant to split them with "not". It does happen, but newscasters and the people they tend to quote are not necessarily the best examples of how we all speak.



Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, March 12, 2018 10:02:39 AM

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Drago,
Angel Angel Angel
This really made me laugh, thank you!

A true story in return. In the middle of discussion in a business meeting:

(with a thoughtful air)
- I do remember I had a thought.. Think

Romany
Posted: Monday, March 12, 2018 12:21:19 PM
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NK,

Nope, nothing to do with splitting infinitives. It just sounds unnecessarily complicated to my ear. To negatively do something? Wotha?

Either one is "going to...do/say/ etc something, or one is "not going to....". "Going to not do" something is just a jumble to me.
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