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Written by Art
(9/6/2003 1:49 a.m.)
I seem to recall from somewhere (L&T?) that the contraction "an't" was viewed very much like today's "ain't": a sign of low breeding. And in S&S, I had always associated this word with the Steele sisters.
So I was astonished to discover that the first usage of this contraction comes, in chapter 34, from ... Fanny Dashwood! "They are very pretty, ma'am -- an't they?"
Fanny Dashwood, whatever her other faults, never struck me as a particularly lower-class woman. Did I miss something? Or am I mistaken about "an't"?
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