[DWJ] negativity (was A revelation of Time City)

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Mon Jul 17 14:42:36 EDT 2006

Philip said...

Minnow, quoting DWJ:

> She herself has been known to say, "We bettn't had!" instead of "We'd
> better not" or "We hadn't better".  :-)

She works that into one of her books, but I cannot remember which one.
Someone is re-emphasising a warning (and I think the warning was
intended as a threat).  I noticed it at the time because I'm sure I
encountered and/or used that form as a child, but I don't think I've
seen it written anywhere else.

It's in "Archer's Goon".  The Goon says it - I think the exact phrase is 
"Really bett'n't had", and I rather think he wags his knife as emphasis. 
But I can't remember who he says it to - Mountjoy, maybe, when he and Howard 
invade the Housing Department - and my copy of the book is in the bottom of 
a rather large box just now.

I remember it because it's a construction I'd never seen or heard before 
reading "Archer's Goon".  Now, of course, I use it myself...

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"Worst fears realised darling Seth and Rueben too send gumboots."
- Stella Gibbons, "Cold Comfort Farm" 

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