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οὐ μὴν ἀλλά, not but what

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οὐ μὴν ἀλλά, not but what

Postby Lavrentivs » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:21 pm

It seems that these expressions are literally æquivalent: ‘nothing else is the case but that …’

But for the English expression I have found almost no literary evidence, except for maybe a quote in the OED. Are Englishmen familiar with this?
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Re: οὐ μὴν ἀλλά, not but what

Postby Victor » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:14 pm

Lavrentivs wrote:But for the English expression I have found almost no literary evidence, except for maybe a quote in the OED. Are Englishmen familiar with this?

You'll find "not but what" is common enough in pre-20th century English literature.
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Re: οὐ μὴν ἀλλά, not but what

Postby Lavrentivs » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:12 pm

Thanks. What about 'not but (that)'? simply a variant or is there a nuance or historic difference?
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Re: οὐ μὴν ἀλλά, not but what

Postby Victor » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:42 pm

Lavrentivs wrote:Thanks. What about 'not but (that)'? simply a variant or is there a nuance or historic difference?

Fowler, in his Modern English Usage, tells us that "but that" is literary and "but what" is colloquial. Presumably the same distinction applies to "not but that" and "not but what"; if so, there is a subtle difference in register between the two, but not much else.
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Re: οὐ μὴν ἀλλά, not but what

Postby Lavrentivs » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:33 pm

I hadn’t thought to look in Fowler. Thanks.
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