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Re: double negatives

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Tuesday, October 24, 2000, 23:05
Vasiliy Chernov wrote:
> Also, I've just thought that with a slightly different intonation, English > might allow something like _I've told nothing, to nobody, under no > circumstances_ - am I wrong?
It wouldn't be acceptable, and would sound odd, to my ears, at least. It's in a semi-formal syntax, but with a stigmatized construction. I'd say either "I haven't told anyone anything, under any circumstances", or "I've told nobody anything ...". Using those multiple negatives would feel more natural in a sentence like "I haven't [or better yet "ain't"] told nobody nothin'", "under no circumstances" is too formal to sound right with multiple negations. On second thought, "I told nothing to nobody under any circumstances" sounds acceptable to me. -- Dievas dave dantis; Dievas duos duonos God gave teeth; God will give bread - Lithuanian proverb ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor