Thursday, November 8, 2007

Don't use no double negatives.

William Safire cracks me up. He is well known for his syndicated political column for The New York Times, but my fave factoid is that he is a regular contributor to "On Language" in the NYT Sunday Mag. The column is on popular etymology, new or unusual usages, and other language-related topics.

He has generated a list which I am handing out to my poor trapped guinea pigs today--"Fumblerules". It consists of sarcastically composed sentences such as
"Do not put statements in the negative form."
--which brings me right around to the most confusing construction--the phrase/fragment that reads something like:

"I would not be unhappy to have a bar of chocolate." GADS! I hate that. Be precise--say what you mean.

Another example of Safire's wit? "Verbs has to agree with its subjects." snicker

I think it is funny.

No comments: