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I've seen it used a lot in older texts and was curious if it can still be used in modern writing without too many questions. I think in a lot of places it can make sentences much cleaner.

Example:

"He is a man so self evidently righteous that the thought of sin does not pass through his mind." (Traditional negation)

Vs.

"He is a man so self evidently righteous that the thought of sin passes not through his mind." (Inverse negation)

Thanks in advance (:

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    This inversion is no longer current; it has been supplanted by do-support and today is employed only for an archaicizing rhetorical effect. Feb 16, 2018 at 15:48
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    "in a lot of places it can make sentences much cleaner"—It may be fewer words, but it sticks out like a sore thumb to any native speaker (and I would imagine it's the same way for many proficient nonnative speakers too).
    – Laurel
    Feb 16, 2018 at 15:53
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    @StoneyB: I think not. Dare I say I hope not!* :) Feb 16, 2018 at 16:59
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    I think it's essentially the same syntax (avoiding do-support in negation) in We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. It's just that in JFK's usage he has a lot of "optional" verbiage between choose and not. But imho it wouldn't have sounded so good with We do not choose... anyway. Feb 16, 2018 at 17:07
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    @StoneyB Sometimes I hear Mendelssohn’s English libretto for Elijah from Psalms 121:3 ringing through my head: “He watching over Israel slumbers not nor sleeps.” :)
    – tchrist
    Feb 16, 2018 at 18:12

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You can according to Purdue, but it should not (but not cannot) be done for anything other than comedic affect or as a descriptor/clarifier of a sentence.

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