"…Facebook hadn't been unable to confirm…"

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Katie Rogers-Follow, "Facebook is not leaking your private messages – though you once did", The Guardian (US News Blog) 9/24/2012:

Monday afternoon, Facebook spokesperson Frederic Wolens added that Facebook hadn't been unable to confirm any issue related to a leakage of private messages.

Probably this is just a typo — though at the moment it's been up on the Grauniad's website for almost a week, suggesting that it's the kind of typo that's easy to fail to miss. Anyhow, it's one for the misnegation archives.

The obligatory screenshot:

[Tip of the hat to Amanda Adams.]

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4 Comments »

  1. Tanja said,

    September 30, 2012 @ 11:41 am

    My latest misnegation find:

    "I don't ink anything at all anymore, I haven't for years. But, I also don't find that lack of ink doesn't mean the paper edges don't pop and get lost."
    http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/mb.asp?cmd=display&forum_id=10&thread_id=3194786

    She's talking about inking the edges of papers, commonly done in scrapbooking to add contrast between the different layers of paper. I think she's saying that her paper edges still pop and don't get lost, even if she doesn't ink them anymore. So "doesn't mean" should be "means"?

  2. Ran Ari-Gur said,

    September 30, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    If we're sharing instances of scalar inversion . . . I heard an interesting one on the radio this past Wednesday. The program was about the recovery of the housing market, and the host was introducing a guest, the manager of a building company.

    - host: Enzo, welcome!
    - guest: Good morning, Mike.
    - host: Very good to have you with us this morning. So, are you busy?
    - guest: We certainly are! Uh, but not busy enough to talk to you.
    - host: *laughs* Good.

    I'm reasonably confident that the guest meant "Not too busy to talk to you." I found this one interesting because with most examples posted on Language Log, I have to re-read them to see the problem (which probably supports the "poor monkey brain" hypothesis), but this one sounded wrong to me as soon as I heard it.

    (You can hear the episode at http://www.ideastream.org/soi/entry/49162. The above-quoted exchange starts about 17 minutes, 19 seconds in.)

  3. Jerry Friedman said,

    September 30, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    I found the headline and the first sentence opaque. Apparently what "Facebook is not leaking your private messages – though you once did" is supposed to mean is "…though you once posted public messages", or really, "Facebook is not leaking your private messages – you posted them publicly"

  4. Ran Ari-Gur said,

    September 30, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

    @Jerry Friedman: I think the writer is punning on two different senses of the word "private": Facebook isn't leaking people's "private messages" in the narrow/precise/technical/computing sense of that term, but people leaked their own "private messages" in a broad/general/social-norms sense, by posting private things publically. (If a movie contains full frontal nudity, does the actor still have "private parts"? I'd say yes.)

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