"A whole nother"
Is it ok to say this? I know that its non-standard but I hear it used alot.
Would it sound strange for me (a foreigner with some accent) to use this in everyday speech? i.e "I want to get a whole nother one".
I ask because some coloquialisms seem to have a stigma attached to them (particularly when foreigners try to use them), and others don't. I want to adapt to everyday spoken american english, but at the same time I don't want to sound stupid.
Well, the reason that the use of colloquialisms by foreigners is frowned upon is that foreigners tend to use them in inappropriate ways or under inappropriate contexts. If you use it like a native speaker would, most people won't think you sound stupid. The problem is that learning the "proper" usage of slang is often difficult because it's not codified like "standard" language by definition.
Then whats the correct use of "a whole nother"? It seems that the addition of whole is just an 'infix' used to add emphasis to 'another' (meaning something entirely different)??
"Thats a-whole-nother issue, that I don't want to get into".
" I don't like this hat. I'm going back to the store to exchange it for a-whole-nother one"
I would treat it rather as a matter of reanalysis of "another" (etymologically "an other") as "a nother", allowing the insertion of other words, with "whole" being by far the most common case of such. At least here, the matter is that one can also add adverbial forms modifying "whole", such as "a completely whole nother".
<,Then whats the correct use of "a whole nother"? It seems that the addition of whole is just an 'infix' used to add emphasis to 'another' (meaning something entirely different)??
As touched on above, it's not the insertion of "whole" that makes this phrase a coloquialism, but the incorrect division, or rather, the corruption of 'another' into "nother" that disturbs some people.
Whether you say "a whole other" (which is always correct and appropriate) or "a whole nother" makes no differrence to me. They mean the same thing. And being a foreigner doesn't matter either.
This is actually considered correct in Texas. Our current state motto is "It's like a whole nother country."
>>Whether you say "a whole other" (which is always correct and appropriate) or "a whole nother" makes no differrence to me. They mean the same thing. And being a foreigner doesn't matter either.<<
That is the thing - while such may be prescriptively "correct", from an etymological standpoint, it is simply not how native English-speakers today would split "another", like it or not. The natural thing to say would actually be "a whole nother", with "a whole other" sounding rather stilted and artificial in practice.
I always make a point of saying "a whole other..." but I admit it is always tempting to say "a whole nother"
To be honest, I don't think you should use "nother" at all. I don't use it (because it sounds retarded), and I was born and raised here. I would say:
"It's like another country,"
or, to emphasize the point,
"It's like a whole other country."