English grammar in US - reply

James H. Beach jbeach at NSF.GOV
Wed Jun 26 09:30:09 CDT 1996

Well finally this non-biological discussion is coming around to something
interesting.  Before we change the name of TAXACOM to LINGUICOM, I would
like to take this opportunity to respond to Gena Gulamentum's comment:

> In fact, the "double negative" is NEVER
> interpreted as a positive (contrary to schoomarms), and is very common in
> other languages (the "ne...pas" of French, for example).

A philosopher friend once described a lecture to me, in which the speaker
asserted that in some languages a double negative was a positive, in
others a double negative was a negative, but in no language was a double
positive a negative.

At that very moment, a wag from the back of the room piped up and said
(with nasal emphasis): "yeah, yeah."

Ok, enough of this grammarian and linguistic blather!

Jim Beach

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