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Tags education , english usage , grammar , punctuation , spelling

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Old 6th July 2018, 06:44 AM   #121
theprestige
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I never knew that the double negative had such a fan club.

Ambiguity is the enemy of communication. Too often sentences are laced with double meanings. The speaker is invariably trying to avoid saying something and usually ends up saying "I didn't mean that".

I don't mind languages that are colourful or make use of superfluous adjectives of adverbs but they should not run counter to the laws of logic.
How can an era demand anything?
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Old 6th July 2018, 06:48 AM   #122
dann
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Originally Posted by MetalPig View Post
Dutch:
springen, sprong, gesprongen
zingen, zong, gezongen

I wonder why we do those differently?

All of them? Don't you have the i-a-o combination at all? In Denmark, it's also used in many nursery rhymes, and Huey, Dewey & Louie are called Rip, Rap & Rup in Danish translations.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
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Old 6th July 2018, 09:53 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
How can an era demand anything?
Because an "era" is a superior being with powers far beyond those of mortal men.
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Old 6th July 2018, 09:58 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
ˇNo entiendo nada! (It's not really illogical. It's just different. What actually bothers you is your own idea that it's illogical, and there's a logical solution to that problem: Get used to it!)
That is a lengthy translation of 3 words and I am skeptical that you have translated accurately.

Something is either true or false and there is nothing in between so get used to that!
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Old 6th July 2018, 10:19 AM   #125
theprestige
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Because an "era" is a superior being with powers far beyond those of mortal men.

This seems like an ambiguity that is headed straight for "I didn't mean that."
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Old 6th July 2018, 10:29 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Something is either true or false and there is nothing in between so get used to that!
Again only if you wish to remain intentionally ignorant of how languages that aren't English work.

"Double negatives" as a linguistic no-no aren't a thing in most languages and those languages don't collapse because they are too confusing.
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Old 7th July 2018, 07:54 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Again only if you wish to remain intentionally ignorant of how languages that aren't English work.

"Double negatives" as a linguistic no-no aren't a thing in most languages and those languages don't collapse because they are too confusing.
They're common in Greek, and those people invented logic
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Old 8th July 2018, 09:05 AM   #128
dann
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
That is a lengthy translation of 3 words and I am skeptical that you have translated accurately.

Something is either true or false and there is nothing in between so get used to that!

It's not a translation of anything. It's an example of a double negative that nobody misunderstands.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 8th July 2018, 10:07 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
It's not a translation of anything. It's an example of a double negative that nobody misunderstands.
I will have to take your word for it since I can't find a literal translation of the words.

The most common meaning of the phrase seems to be "I don't understand anything" but since that does not contain a double negative it may not be a literal translation. https://www.linguee.com/spanish-engl...endo+nada.html
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Old 8th July 2018, 12:47 PM   #130
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Google translate suggests either: I don't understand anything or I understand nothing. Depending on the context, it might also be: I don't understand what you're saying or I don't get it.
If you look up the words one at a time:
entiendo: I understand
no: not
nada: nothing
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 8th July 2018, 12:51 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I will have to take your word for it since I can't find a literal translation of the words.

The most common meaning of the phrase seems to be "I don't understand anything" but since that does not contain a double negative it may not be a literal translation. https://www.linguee.com/spanish-engl...endo+nada.html
Do you deny that other language have "double negatives" in their sentence structure without losing understandability and clarity?

If so, you're wrong. If not this nitpick serves no purpose.

Literally millions of people use languages with "double negatives" everyday without lose of clarity or precision. This is an undeniable fact.

You can not like double negatives as a matter of style or fashion or personal preference, but the argument that it in any objective makes the language les clear or less precise is demonstrably false.
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Old 8th July 2018, 02:18 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Google translate suggests either: I don't understand anything or I understand nothing. Depending on the context, it might also be: I don't understand what you're saying or I don't get it.
If you look up the words one at a time:
entiendo: I understand
no: not
nada: nothing
Much the same in Greek, which also has a word for 'negation of the following', much like the No in Spanish.

(In Greeklish):

Echo tipota - I have nothing.

Dthen echo tipota - Not I have nothing

tipota, meanwhile, does not translate as 'anything' in other contexts, which would avoid the double negative. It's a pure 'nothing' word.

Caution - my command of Greek is carp, but MrsB confirms all this.
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Old 12th July 2018, 02:49 AM   #133
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French too, I think: "Je ne sais pas", "I don't know," with one of the two negations being superfluous: French language: pas


ETA: Maybe it's a Mediterranean thing!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 12th July 2018 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 12th July 2018, 04:32 AM   #134
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And in Afrikaans:


I don't know what it is.

Ek weet nie wat dit is nie.
I know not what it is not.
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Last edited by Cheetah; 12th July 2018 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 12th July 2018, 05:44 AM   #135
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Afrikaans is a Germanic language so that destroyed my Mediterranean theory ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th July 2018, 06:57 AM   #136
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Afrikaans is an exception in this regard.


"Dialectal Dutch, French and San have been suggested as possible origins for this trait."
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Old 12th July 2018, 09:55 AM   #137
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Interesting!
However, this seems to be a very complicated way of denying that it's a double negative:

Quote:
The second nie cannot be understood as a noun or adverb (as can, e.g., pas in French), and cannot be substituted by any part of speech other than itself with the sentence remaining grammatical. It is a grammatical particle with no independent meaning that happens to be spelled and pronounced the same as the embedded nie, meaning "not", through historical accident.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th July 2018, 03:20 PM   #138
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There are also double negatives in Russian. I remember learning a few phrases years ago when I visited Russia, and when I tried to analyze the words I couldn’t understand why there were double negatives. It’s just the way the grammar is in Russian, apparently.

I also know examples of double negatives in both formal and informal Japanese. The adverb “amari” is a negative, but it can go with negatives such as “didn’t eat” - “I didn’t eat not much”.

Also, in informal Japanese “zen zen” means “not at all” and “muri” means impossible. People will say “zen zen muri” which technically means “not at all impossible” but actually is used to mean “completely impossible” and language mavens can squawk all they want about how it is either a double negative or a redundancy. I think I did myself when I was first learning the language and I was not woke to the way language works and expected it to *have* to conform to a prescriptive textbook. When I asked Japanese speakers of the sentence was self-contradictory they would indulge me and say “ha ha yes, I see what you mean but that isn’t the meaning of the sentence.”

Of course double negatives are and were very common in everyday English and in various dialects of English today. They are rarely any more “ambiguous” than most “standard” or “metaphorical” English which most language mavens use unthinkingly knowing that their meaning can be understood well enough.
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Old 13th July 2018, 01:15 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
There are also double negatives in Russian. I remember learning a few phrases years ago when I visited Russia, and when I tried to analyze the words I couldn’t understand why there were double negatives. It’s just the way the grammar is in Russian, apparently.
Pretty sure all Slavic languages are like that. in fact there are no rules against stringing any number of negatives.
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Old 13th July 2018, 02:00 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
And in Afrikaans:

I don't know what it is.

Ek weet nie wat dit is nie.
I know not what it is not.
I've never thought of that second 'nie' that way. I've only ever considered it as a kind of emphasis of the first one.

"Oral begin mans besef dat hulle nie fyn hoef te wees nie
Dis nie aanvaarbaar om te huil nie
Dis nie aanvaarbaar om te skeer nie
En die enigste tyd toe ons nee se is as hulle vir ons vra of ons genoeg gehad het"
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