Getting negatives right

rogersgeorge on December 20th, 2013

An English professor once remarked that it was mildly interesting that two negatives make a positive in English, but two positives never make a negative. A voice from the back of the room came out with “Yeah, right.” So if you include sarcasm, you can do it. I’ll add an interesting linguistic fact: In Greek, two negatives make the negative stronger.  It’s as if to say “definitely not!”

I like the comic Candorville, by Darren Bell, partly because the main character, Lemont, is not only a writer, but also  is somewhat of a grammar curmudgeon, rather like me in both cases. Here’s a lesson, from  September 22, 2012 in getting a negative right.

2012-09-22-can't-hardly-wait

And don’t get me started on “I could care less.”

P.S. This comic appeared just after I finished this post. http://www.gocomics.com/zackhill/2013/12/17#.UrBMdj6fKas.email.

 

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