11/07/2008

Words That Aren't Words: Nother

The word is another. It's a blend of two words: the article an and the word other.

It's 'an' instead of 'a' because other begins with a vowel.

If you add a modifier, such as the word whole, you have two options:
  1. split other from its article and insert the modifier before other - That's a whole other story.
  2. add the modifier after the word another - That's another whole story.
#1 is clearly the better choice. It sounds better. It's important to remember that when you split the word to accommodate the modifier whole, 'an' becomes 'a' again because w is a consonant.

That 'n' goes away. It does not belong to other.

That's a whole nother story is incorrect.

Nother is not a word.

Seriously.

6 comments:

SB said...

i know.

Mobea said...

If I had my druther, that would be a whold other story!
Speaking of, there must be a story behind this blog.

Aimee said...

Heehee... I'm totally guilty of saying something like, "That's a whole 'nother story."

Are you really an English teacher in disguise?

www.shevet.org said...

Ugh. He is a grammar nazi, Aimee. It's such a burden.

Mobea said...

I bet the word "ain't" just drives you up a wall!!! ROFL

Aimee said...

LOL. Angie. That's funny.

I have the opposite problem with my husband. For some strange reason, people in a few communities here misprounounce the I sound (long I, I think), using more of an A (short a?) sound. For example, mild is often prounounced mald. It's weird and drives me nuts.

So, if someone grew up in St. Albans, Winfield, and the outlying areas, they likely use this mispronounciation. It's crazy.