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

Speech is the small change of silence. - George Meredith

The eyes have one language everywhere. - George Herbert

Dance is the hidden language of the soul. - Martha Graham

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

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

I will not down to posterity talking bad grammar. - Benjamin Disraeli

The English never draw a line without blurring it. - Winston Churchill

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

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

The art of communication is the language of leadership. - James Humes

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 winter - ending in July, to recommence in August. - Lord Byron

We need a president who's fluent in at least one language. - Buck Henry

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

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. - William Butler Yeats

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

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

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

I imagine hell like this: Italian punctuality, German humour and English wine. - Peter Ustinov

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

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

The English should give Ireland home rule - and reserve the motion picture rights. - Will Rogers

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

Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree. - Ezra Pound

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

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

Grammar: the difference between Feeling Your Nuts and Feeling You're Nuts. - Unknown

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

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

Although he tortures the English language, he has not yet succeeded in forcing it to reveal its meaning. - J B Morton

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

Language, identity, place, home: these are all of a piece - just different elements of belonging and not-belonging. - Jhumpa Lahiri

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

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

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

"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


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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31-Mar-2020