Same sound, opposite meaning
sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Sun May 12 22:29:45 UTC 2002
> their inability to appear outside a context
>of negation, whether explicit or implied by a question.<
looks like a good marker to me. I'm not sure that it is exactly applicable
to my sample question("do you think he did diddly [or squat] for us?")
since, while it seems to anticipate a negative answer, doesn't entirely
exclude it. THis is a quibble, I admit.
*Any* itself is a sort of chamaeleon (sp?) word, sometimes positive,
sometimes privative. Dialectal diferences in the use of *any more* have
come up from time to time on the list. *Anything* and *nothing* sometimes
seem to be engaged in a perpetual do-se-do.
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