Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 23:30:10 -0600
From: "Donald M. Lance" engdl[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU
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?