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Passions in Poetry

"Aren't I?"

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Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


0 posted 04-13-2007 08:07 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Aren't I?"

This is very very bad grammar.  

It is correct to say "Am I not?"  Or to avoid repeating "am" in a saying such as "I am cunning, am I not?" one may say:


"Am I not cunning?"

"I am cunning?"

"do you know I am cunning?"

And for you that appreciate English of all ages:

Nam I cunning?

(Nam = ne "not" + am, as in never = ne + ever)

etc.  

Much better than the bad grammar of "aren't I?"


rrrstop
Junior Member
since 04-21-2007
Posts 27
Florida


1 posted 04-21-2007 01:32 PM       View Profile for rrrstop   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rrrstop

Oh, gosh!

I just looked up "ain't" in the 1963 edition Webster's NCD and it's all "prob. contr. of are not" and "used orally in most parts of the U.S. by educated speakers esp. in the phrase ain't I", with the substandard usages confined to "have not" and "has not."

That's interesting. Of course, it's from over forty years ago now.  
shirtless
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since 04-29-2006
Posts 357


2 posted 07-09-2007 10:48 AM       View Profile for shirtless   Email shirtless   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit shirtless's Home Page   View IP for shirtless

"amn't" used to be a contraction for "am not"
rwood
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since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


3 posted 07-16-2007 10:07 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

I think you could avoid passive presentation, altogether, by saying, "I am cunning." No question about it.

You are.
ilsm
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since 04-13-2008
Posts 62
UK


4 posted 04-25-2008 08:43 PM       View Profile for ilsm   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ilsm

Never heard of "nam I".  We live and learn.

I understood "aren't I" was a Victorian usage to avoid "ain't I" which was regarded as unspeakably common and lower-class.

They supposedly found the obvious alternative, "amn't I" as intolerably hard on the ears and decided it was better to put up with an incorrect conjugation than an inelegant contraction like that.

Interestingly, you will find "amn't I" in use in parts of Scotland (and elsewhwere for all I know).
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


5 posted 04-26-2008 04:15 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Fowler supports ilsm about amn't and the Scottish usage.  "ain't" is also correct, though not for this use and in another context.  I did so want it to be correct for this.  Eventually, I'm sure it will wear its way into the grammar simply through persistence alone.  People seem so determined to find a place for it, there must be something useful and intuitively right about it someplace.
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


6 posted 04-26-2008 02:09 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

That is interesting.  I think I read that before, but forgot that "ain't" comes from am not.  I would recommend that as a grammatically correct way of avoiding "aren't I" as well.  
prize
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since 11-21-2008
Posts 113


7 posted 12-19-2008 05:37 PM       View Profile for prize   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for prize

I'm from Boston and "Aren't I", as well as the phrase, "So Don't I" are used a lot.

I'm not saying they are correct, but definitely on the list of Boston-isms.

I think either Matt Damon or Ben Affleck (sp?) may have used both of those phrases in one of their SNL skits about Bahstan (ha!) ~p
critical mass
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since 03-25-2009
Posts 275
Michigan


8 posted 03-26-2009 09:06 PM       View Profile for critical mass   Email critical mass   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for critical mass

Aren't I bumping this thread up? Or am I not allowed to?

Aren't I suppose to be here.
Aren't I?

If you can't say (are not) in place of aren't, then it is wrong.

If you can, then it's right.

You aren't suppose to be here, unless you can speak correctly.

Ain't this confusing!

 
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