[Ads-l] FWIW

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 30 14:58:55 UTC 2015


On Sun, Nov 29, 2015 at 7:50 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/fashion/death-by-internet-hyperbole-literally-dying-over-this-column.html
>
> (I didn't know the "kms" in "ugh so much homework kms" meant "killing
> myself" and not "kilometers".  Or, for that matter, that "I can't even"
> is an instance of "negative polarity, when there are two negatives in a
> sentence."  That one is surprising for two reasons, both the definition
> of "negative polarity" and the detection of two negatives in the
> sentence.)

Looks like a bit of a misread of what Gretchen McCulloch (who's quoted
in the piece) has written on "(can't) even":

http://allthingslinguistic.com/post/61793502009/giving-a-shit-about-negative-polarity-items
http://mentalfloss.com/article/62284/why-it-you-cant-even-you-never-find-you-can-even

--bgz

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