Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 23:30:10 -0600


Subject: Re: one as a pronoun?

True. Language is not math; however, it is logical.

Au contraire. Language itself is neither logical nor illogical. Judgments

about logic are judgments about people's actions, their verbal CLAIMS, and

the physics of consequences of concatenations of phenomena in the

time-space continuum in which our minds function. The meanings of words

derive from how people use them, not from the words themselves, which in

the final analysis are merely oscillations of molecules in a sound medium

or marks on flattish surfaces. What one claims with words may or may not

match what our experiences tell us about how things work in our time-space


The people who say "I ain't got none" and mean that 'none' is exactly what

they have are merely augmenting the negation, not negating the negation.

Does any native speaker of English ever assume that someone else's "I ain't

got none" or "I can't hardly do that any more" or "He won't never come

back" is actually a negation of a negative?