double negatives

I got a good laugh when I saw this cartoon on Facebook. Judging by how many different places it shows up in a Google image search, it has certainly made the rounds. And I am one of those who would agree with that perspective.

That perspective may not be correct, however. I read an item somewhere that takes a different approach. I wish I had saved it, but I failed to do so. This approach says that the English language need not follow the laws of math and logic. The writer said that a double negative can be used to emphasize the negative rather than cancel itself out. I believe the writer cited a distinguished example of this, perhaps Shakespeare.

Worth considering. And if you are familiar with the article I’m referencing, please pass it on to me.

juty of English majors



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