Andrey (azangru) wrote,

This is an article from a nineteenth-century dictionary written by some Chinaman, via Google books:

I confess, I've been interpreting this phrase like this hapless Chinaman more and more recently, and it slightly irked me every time I heard it. It is, of course, shamelessly self-negating, when the speaker announces that something isn't worth mentioning, but then mentions it nonetheless, sometimes quite elaborately. The Russian не говоря о leaves me with the same vague sense of incredulity.

Modern online dictionaries suggest the complete opposite. Cambridge Advanced Learner's claims that not to mention is a phrase of emphasis rather than of an almost apology for saying something that's already well known to the audience:


  • (no subject)

    This is bullshit, right? Immediately after the 1917 revolution education was in shambles. And there were still several years of the civil war to…

  • (no subject)

    I was stumped by the asterisks in the second bleeped word. Could only think of hand, but that's not what it was. In any case, it's a perfectly…

  • (no subject)

    Which/whose corporate interests is he talking about? Which corporations are interested in what? I am so confused.

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