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
Discretion in speech is more than eloquence. - Sir Francis Bacon

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

Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war. - Lindsey Graham

He speaks English, Spanish, and he's bilingual too. - Don King

This is the sort of English up with which I will not put. - Winston Churchill

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

The English have three vegetables and two of them are cabbage. - Walter Page

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

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

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. - Mark Twain

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

A bore is one who has the power of speech but not the capacity for conversation. - Benjamin Desraeli

Under the English legal system you are innocent until you are shown to be Irish. - Ted Whitehead

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

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

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

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

The funniest line in English is "Get it?" When you say that, everyone chortles. - Garrison Keillor

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous. - Ingrid Bergman

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence? - George Carlin

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

No matter how bad things are, they can always be worse. So what if my stroke left me with a speech impediment? Moses had one, and he did all right. - Kirk Douglas


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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19-May-2019