Does A Double Positive Equal A Negative?

Fun with English Grammar


A linguistics professor was lecturing his class.

“In English,” he explained, “a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However,” the professor continued, “there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.”

A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”


QuotaBills
Speech is the small change of silence. - George Meredith

The eyes have one language everywhere. - George Herbert

I speak two languages, English and Body. - Mae West

A story is told as much by silence as by speech. - Susan Griffin

I have often regretted my speech, never my silence. - Xenocrates

Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech. - Martin Fraquhar Tupper

Life is a foreign language; all men mispronounce it. - Christopher Morley

The English contribution to world cuisine. The chip. - John Cleese

All poetry is a reproduction of the tones of actual speech. - Robert Frost

Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain. - Lily Tomlin

There is no language like the Irish for soothing and quieting. - John Millington Synge

If the French were really intelligent, they'd speak English. - Wilfred Sheed

The English have an extraordinary ability for flying into a great calm. - Alexander Woollcott

Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power. - Joan Didion

Symptoms are the body's mother tongue; signs are in a foreign language. - John Brown

Three problems we have: lack of boundaries, insufficient language, incompletions. - Thomas Leonard

The most beautiful words in the English language are "cheque enclosed". - Dorothy Parker

There's nothing like an English weirdo. We have the best nutters in the world. - Sharon Osbourne

The language of the law must not be foreign to the ears of those who are to obey it. - Learned hand

"The Hunchback Of Notre Dame" had the big fat English actor, Charles Lawson. - Archie Bunker

We really have everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language. - Oscar Wilde

Speak when you're angry and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret. - L.J. Peter

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe. - Jimmy Durante

People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid. - Soren Kierkegaard

Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language. - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The first man to use abusive language instead of his fists was the founder of civilization. - Sigmund Freud

Language is our meeting place, the sea we live in…it is the common ground of our humanity. - Toby Wolfe

It's a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water. - Franklin P. Jones

The English country gentleman galloping after a fox - the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable. - Oscar Wilde

The names of colors are at the edge, between where language fails and where it's at its most powerful. - A.S. Byatt

Violence of language leads to violence of action. Angry men seldom fight if their tongues do not lead the fray. - Charles V Roman

If you find yourself saying, "But I can't speak English...", try adding the word "... yet". - Jane Revell

If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilized. - Oscar Wilde

If the English language made any sense, 'lackadaisical' would have something to do with a shortage of flowers. - Doug Larson

The longest word in the English language is the one following the phrase, "And now a word from our sponsor." - Hal Eaton

Englishmen learn Christ's law best in English. Moses heard God's law in his own tongue; so did Christ's apostles. - John Wycliffe

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are,
"I'm from the government and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan

It is Ireland's sacred duty to send over, every few years, a playwright to save the English theatre from inarticulate glumness. - Kenneth Tynan

Heard about the young deaf boy who used sign language?
One day he told his mother a dirty joke and she washed his hands out with soap. - Red Skelton

Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something entirely different. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


see also   College,  Language  &  School  Sections
Basic Rules of English Spelling and Grammar
Books Never Written
Commas Save Lives
Cyberbulbs
Double Negative Education
First Impressions
I Like Cooking
Little Johnny’s Beautiful Examples
One Thousand Words
Practice Safe Text
Punctuation Matters
The Importance of Correct Punctuation

 

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20-Jul-2018