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Double negative, the joke

Posted by Bob on July 27, 2004

In Reply to: Double negative posted by ESC on July 27, 2004

: : : Do you like Elvis' songs? What about the lyrics?

: : : 1.Mean Woman Blues
: : : "I got a woman as mean as she can be." I've heard this phrase "as adj. as one can be" a lot. What does that mean?

: : : 2.King Creole
: : : "Well, he sings a song about a crowded hole
: : : He sings a song about a jelly roll
: : : He sings a song about meat and greens
: : : He wails some blues about new orleans"

: : : Could you tell me what're a crowded hole and "meat and greens"?

: : : 3.Trouble
: : : "My daddy was a green-eyed mountain jack"
: : : Who could be a "mountain jack"?

: : : "I don't take no orders From no kind of man"
: : : What does this "not-no-no" sentence want to say?

: : : Thanks!

: : Not, no. This is a double negative - each no just adds emphasis to the not. "I don't take orders from anyone." English is not the same as arithmetic where two minuses make a plus!

: Here's two.

: Jelly roll = sex.

: Jack = man. (Merriam-Webster online: JACK 1 a : MAN -- usually used as an intensive in such phrases as every man jack b often capitalized : SAILOR c : SERVANT, LABORER : LUMBERJACK

The professor said, "In Russian, and in many other languages, a double negative intensifies the denial, just as it does in ungrammatical English. But curiously, nowhere, in no language, does a double positive make a negative."
To which, a voice from the back of the lecture hall said, "yeah, sure."