Thursday, September 15, 2005
I found this to be amusing:
A linguistics professor is giving a lecture. He explains that in English, prescriptive grammar dictates that a double negative creates a positive, for instance "I ain't got no money" would parse as "I have money." He then goes on to explain that in many languages, a double negative creates a more emphatic negative, for instance, in Russian "U menya nyet nichyevo" (literally, "By me is not had nothing") uses two negative phrases to create a stronger negative. Furthermore, the prof explains, in most languages, using two positives will create a more emphatic positive, or at the very least, will not change the meaning of a phrase, for instance "Yes, I have bananas" is fundamentally the same as "I have bananas." However, the proffessor concludes, in no language does a double positive create a negative.
A student, in the back of the class, muttering under his breath, was heard to utter "Yeah, right."
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