|Date:||Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 16:01|
>>> Sally Caves <scaves@> wrote:
>>>The higher the lower. Makes no sense--in English.
>>The higher the pole vaulter went, the lower the spirits of the
>>It really does depend on context. :-)
>Tim May <butsuri@...> wrote:
>I don't think that's what Sally meant. Certainly you can use "the
>higher the X, the lower the Y" in context, but I don't think you
>_can_ ever say "the higher the lower" as you can "the more the
>merrier" or "the sooner the better".
Some folks seem not to have seen my little smiley face. It is my
understanding that this icon is used when humor is intended. Now I
doubt that anyone guffawed when he/she read it, but I still intended
it to be a humorous response, because even I, who am not a
professional linguist, but for whom English is my L1, know that "the
higher, the lower" as it stands, makes no sense.
But I believe my point is still valid, &, IIRC, I'm not the only
one who made it.
"The more, the merrier," as is, has meaning only because it is
hallowed by time. I assume that everyone, including me, is
referring to "the more people...." But were I to walk into a room
with only two people in it & see 100 bottles of beer on the
wall,...er, table and say "The more, the merrier," those in the room
would know from context that I was referring to the bottles of beer.
Given enough pole vaulting events, perhaps "the higher, the lower"
would be hallowed by time.