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
Fair speech may hide a foul heart. - JRR Tolkien

A riot is the language of the unheard. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Speech is the small change of silence. - George Meredith

Tears at times have all the weight of speech. - Ovid

Music is well said to be the speech of angels. - Thomas Carlyle

Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts. - Charles de Talleyrand

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

Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides. - Rita Mae Brown

Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing. - Robert Benchley

The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech. - Clifton Fadiman

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

All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity. - Gordie Howe

We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English. - Winston Churchill

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. - Mark Twain

Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing. - John Erskine

There are ways of singing in English that are not just the same as in French. - Coeur de Pirate

If we are a country committed to free speech, then why do we have phone bills? - Steven Wright

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

I think of myself as being Jewish and Irish, despite the fact that I'm English. - Daniel Radcliffe

"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

A person's name is, to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language. - Dale Carnegie

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

Grammar, which knows how to lord it over kings, and with high hands makes them obey its laws. - Moliere

German is the most extravagantly ugly language - it sounds like someone using a sick bag on a 747. - Willy Rushton

Fashion is free speech, and one of the privileges, if not always one of the pleasures, of a free world. - Alison Lurie

I alone of English writers have consciously set myself to make music out of what I may call the sound of sense. - Robert Frost

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

Already, companies that speak in the language of the pitch, the dog-and-pony show, are no longer speaking to anyone. - Unknown

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

Morals are an acquirement - like music, like a foreign language, like piety, poker, paralysis - no man is born with them. - Mark Twain

Isn't it a very curious thing that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland an' the English brought in the fleas. - Frank McCourt

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

Charity, good behaviour, amiable speech, unselfishness - these by the chief sage have been declared the elements of popularity. - Burmese Proverb

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

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. - Nelson Mandela

Cricket - a game which the English, not being a spiritual people, have invented in order to give themselves some conception of eternity. - Lord Mancroft

I remain convinced that obstinate addiction to ordinary language in our private thoughts is one of the main obstacles to progress in philosophy. - Bertrand Russell


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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12-Nov-2019