Posted by GPP on August 23, 2003
In Reply to: Sorry, ESC, but I couldn't agree with you posted by sphinx on August 23, 2003
: In this dialogue, I think it is clear that the woman said there is no cooking oil left!
: I've consulted dictionaries to find "not that I know of" a veru confusing phrase. It has at least 2 meanings: "so far as I know, the fact is not like this" and "so far as I know, there is nothing."
: Could you think of other examples of its usage?
sphinx, I understand your desire for brevity, but it's easier for us to follow the whole discussion when you leave the top part of the posts and replies in the Comments entry box rather than erasing them. Here's the original question:
"not that I know of"
is it equals to saying, "so far as I know, the fact is not like this" or "so far as I know, there is nothing left."
what about this dialogue:
M:Is there any more cooking oil?
W:Not that I know of.
Here, W is saying to M that he/she is not aware of there being any more cooking oil, but is not precluding the possibility that there could be more. "So far as I know, there is no more cooking oil (but there might be some; or, but you're welcome go look for yourself).
I think this is the same meaning that ESC gave you, in the reply: "There may be cooking oil. But I have no knowledge of it." There are differences in the two dictionary meanings you gave, but both of them can apply in this instance.
(In the subject line heading to your post, the word "don't" would actually be more idiomatic here than "couldn't". "Couldn't agree with you" is either past tense, or the conditional, as in the phrase "I couldn't agree with you more", meaning--with that all-important 'more'--I absolutely agree with you; it would be impossible for me to agree with you more than I already do. A past tense usage of "couldn't agree with you" might be "Yesterday I couldn't agree with what you said about ... [etc]." But this carries some implication that you've since changed your mind.)