Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | February 20, 2010

Double negation

From the NYT column:

The eminent linguistic philosopher J. L. Austin of Oxford once gave a lecture in which he asserted that there are many languages in which a double negative makes a positive, but none in which a double positive makes a negative — to which the Columbia philosopher Sidney Morgenbesser, sitting in the audience, sarcastically replied, “Yeah, yeah.”

For more of Sidney Morgenbesser’s witticisms and academic one-liners, see the sampling here.

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  1. [...] Heh. [...]



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