Andrey (azangru) wrote,
Andrey
azangru

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:

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