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
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