Creative overnegation

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Today's Zits:

…plus the obligatory link to the Misnegation Archive.


  1. Graeme said,

    January 1, 2015 @ 3:37 pm

    He'll 'only' fail to do what she would do?
    But she can only do so much; so he'll have a lot to do.

  2. Eric P Smith said,

    January 1, 2015 @ 7:23 pm

    @Graeme: indeed; he has to do absolutely everything that she "wouldn't". "Wouldn't" may be interpreted more than one way. But either way, you can't arrive at the the meaning of a multi-negatived sentence merely by counting the negatives: the relation of the negatives to the modal verbs affects the meaning also.

  3. James said,

    January 1, 2015 @ 9:43 pm

    I guess this is a stupid question, but would the first 'don't' count as the 'starting' negative?

  4. Daniel Barkalow said,

    January 2, 2015 @ 2:07 pm

    I think he should have said "I won't not do anything you wouldn't not do." Kind of a hassle in that he'd have to do some things she would do, but sounds even better while leaving him completely unrestricted in what he does do.

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