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1 day since big-font misnegation

A sign displayed at yesterday's congressional impeachment hearing: GOP adds new sign during the break — Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 21, 2019

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Misnegation harvest

Readers have recently sent two  links to examples where writers seem to have lost control of piled-up negatives.

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Another day, another misnegation

Thomas Friedman, "'Trump's Going to Get Re-elected, Isn't He?'", NYT 7/16/2019 [emphasis added]: I'm struck at how many people have come up to me recently and said, "Trump's going to get re-elected, isn't he?" And in each case, when I drilled down to ask why, I bumped into the Democratic presidential debates in June. I […]

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New twist on a classic misnegation

Jared Dubin, "The NBA's Other Offensive Revolution: Never Turning The Ball Over", FiveThirtyEight 3/14/2018 [emphasis added]: We're in a golden age for NBA offense. Teams are scoring 110.1 points per 100 possessions during the 2018-19 season, according to — a full 1.3 points per 100 possessions more than the previous high of 108.8, which […]

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Hypothetical misnegation

From Eoin Ryan: I noticed this in an article on, "Charter schools are pushing public education to the breaking point: Charters are driving Boston's public education system to the financial brink" by Jeff Bryant, published on Friday, February 8. The overall tenor of the piece, as the headline and subhead make clear, is that […]

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Misnegation never fails to disappoint

Heather Stewart, "Brexit: as parliament returns to work, what happens now?", The Guardian 1/6/2019: Labour is likely to table a vote of no confidence in the government, though it is unclear whether it would do so immediately – and even less unclear whether it could win it. [h/t Stan Carey]

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Misnegation dis-publication

Monique Friedlander, "'It's a nightmare and not something anyone wants to happen!' Roxy Jacenko reveals the fatal error which forced her to scrap new book", Daily Mail 11/18/2018: Roxy Jacenko's fourth literary work, Roxy's Little Black Book of Tips & Tricks is set to hit shelves in less than two weeks. But the 38-year-old suffered […]

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Barring no misnegations

Seung Min Kim, John Wagner, and Josh Dawsey, "Kavanaugh vote: Senate Republican leaders agree to new FBI background investigation of Kavanaugh", WaPo 9/28/2018 [emphasis added]: President Trump on Friday ordered the FBI to reopen the investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh's background, a stunning turnaround in an emotional battle over sexual assault allegations that […]

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Clarification by misnegation: The view from pragmatics (updated and semi-retracted)

In a comment on Mark Liberman's post "Clarification by misnegation", Stephen Hart makes a point that the rest of us have missed (or at least haven't raised), and that deserves wider attention: I may be missing something here. Slightly restated, Trump said, originally: US Intelligence says it is Russia. Putin says it isn't Russia. I […]

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Clarification by misnegation

There were several aspects of President Donald Trump's recent news conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki that sparked strong negative reactions, for example leading former CIA director John Brennan to call Trump's performance "nothing short of treasonous". One of the controversial parts of Trump's remarks was this answer to a question about whether he would […]

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Freudian misnegation of the year

Leonardo Boiko writes "It's still mid-February, but I feel like this is a strong contender nonetheless". The source: Joshua Rhett Miller, "Pastor says nothing weird was going on with bound naked man in car", New York Post 2/13/2018. The key phrase: "I won't deny that he began to take his clothes off and propositioned me, but […]

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Indistinguishable misnegation

David Frum, "Donald Trump's Bad Bet on Anger", The Atlantic 7/21/2016 [emphasis added]: Donald Trump's supporters yearn for the country as it was and fear the country as it is. Tonight's powerfully dystopian Trump nomination acceptance address will touch them at their deepest emotional core. It will ignite a passionate spasm of assent from those […]

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Misnegation correction

Dahlia Lithwick, "The Ideal Allies", Slate 6/27/2016: Make no mistake, Whole Woman's Health is a massive win for choice, even though nobody believed that the very core of Planned Parenthood v. Casey wasn't in peril this term.* *Update, June 27, 2016: This story also originally said nobody believed that the very core of Planned Parenthood […]

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