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Have You Ever Used This Word? (I'd wager not, but you never know)

In Orwell's Coming Up for Air, the protagonist returns to his birthplace, where he finds great changes have taken place in his absence. As he passes a boarding kennel with Sealyham pups for sale, the bewildered returnee says, "Surely that usen’t to be there?"  

Usen't (or usedn't), obviously a contraction of used not, is a rare bird indeed. Have you ever used it? Have you even heard of it? Do you use it in everyday speech?

I usen't to bother with it, but I like the sound of it so I might start sneaking it into my writing.

(see what I did there?) :p  


  • I feel as though I do on occasion, though it wouldn't be a regular thing.
  • I think - or feel - I have, but not often. It's merely a contraction of 'used not', and in fact is possibly more grammatical than the more common 'didn't used to'. Interesting!
  • Sounds more like a dialect thing.
  • Sounds more like a dialect thing.
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