Archive for February 15th, 2010

Two positives do make a negative

February 15, 2010

I just lo……ved this bit:

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.”

From here. By the way, in case I forgot to mention, the entire piece is a great one and a must-read.