[Ads-l] No = 'yes; truly'

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 26 21:12:27 EDT 2017


"Isn't it?" prompts a positive response. She gave a positive response.
Which requires "yes," not "no."

While I see your point about "No, it's not *kind* of embarrassing, it *is*
embarrassing," I certainly did not (and do not) interpret the utterance
this way. The intonation pattern did not sound right.  "Is" was not
sufficiently stressed to convey that idea (i.e., "No! it IS
embarrassing!"). I'm familiar with the patterns you mention, but this did
not seem to belong.

The stress pattern was precisely that of ordinary, "Yes, it is
embarrassing."  A simple statement rather than a (jocular) contradiction.

And I'm still waiting for the explanation of "Yes! We have no bananas!"

JL





On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 8:18 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

> I’m (still) with Dan on this.  This strikes me as an instance of
> metalinguistic negation, as in (attested examples):
>
> “Did you like coffee?”
> “No, I don’t *like* coffee. [pause.]  I *love* coffee.”
>
> “That wasn’t a *bad* year.  That was *horrible*.”
>
> “I’m not *happy* he’s gone--I’m *elated*.”
>
> And here’s one a bit closer to the one we’re discussing—actually, not a
> *bit* closer, a *lot* closer:
>
> "Is this kind of like cricket?"
> "It's not kind of like cricket. It is cricket.”
> http://www.subzin.com/quotes/M12395b76c/Heavy+Weights/It%
> 27s+not+kind+of+like+cricket.
>
> Or, if you prefer,
> TOPIC:              "D.Va's "Bang" voice line is sort of obnoxious:
> One response:  "It's not sort of obnoxious, it is.”
>
> There’s nothing un-English about this device in which a predication is
> rejected not because it’s false but because it’s too weak, although it
> sometimes involves a garden path.  While the respondents in the last two
> exchanges don’t say “No, it *is* cricket.” Or “No, it is (obnoxious)”.
>  But they could have.
>
> LH
>
>
>
>
> > On Oct 26, 2017, at 4:23 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >
> > I disagree with your first statement. So did the speaker. So no still
> means
> > no.
> >
> >
> >
> > DanG
> >
> > On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 4:21 PM, Jonathan Lighter <
> wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> "It's kind of embarrassing. Isn't it?" = "Don't you agree it's
> >> embarrassing?"
> >>
> >> Regardless, she explicitly agrees with the premise that it's
> embarrassing.
> >> "No" must mean "Yes" or "Yes indeed; absolutely." Either that or it's a
> >> meaningless expletive.
> >>
> >> "No" is absurdly out of place by conventional standards.
> >>
> >> But not by contemporary standards, as this thread shows.
> >>
> >>
> >> JL
> >>
> >> On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 2:25 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>> I don't see where "Don't you agree it's embarrassing?" was asked.
> >>>
> >>> I see "...it's kind of embarrassing for the Democrats. Isn't it?", and
> in
> >>> that context I think the answer makes sense.
> >>>
> >>> DanG
> >>>
> >>> On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 1:01 PM, Jonathan Lighter <
> >> wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> I don't follow you.
> >>>>
> >>>> The question to be answered is, "Don't you agree it's embarrassing?"
> >>> Ans.:
> >>>> "No, it *is* embarrassing."
> >>>>
> >>>> JL
> >>>>
> >>>> On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 12:50 PM, Laurence Horn <
> >> laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> >>>> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>> Aha.  I missed the contrastive stress on *is* on first reading.  On
> >>>> second
> >>>>> reading: No, I agree with Dan.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> LH
> >>>>>
> >>>>>> On Oct 26, 2017, at 11:45 AM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
> >>>> wrote:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> I read it differently.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> The question was, " it's kind of embarrassing for the Democrats.
> >>> Isn't
> >>>>> it?"
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> The answer was, "No, it *is* embarrassing." I read that as "No,
> >> it's
> >>>> not
> >>>>>> *kind of* embarrassing, it *is* embarrassing."
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> DanG
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> On Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 7:43 PM, Laurence Horn <
> >>> laurence.horn at yale.edu
> >>>>>
> >>>>>> wrote:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> On Oct 25, 2017, at 7:06 PM, Jonathan Lighter <
> >>>> wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> >>>>>>> wrote:
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> Barron-Lopez was answering the question “Isn’t it?”  Since the
> >>>>>>>> (apparently) correct answer was “It is,” she could have answered
> >>>> either
> >>>>>>>> “Yes, it is” or “No, it is.”
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> I don't see "No, it is" as a possibility.  In fact, it seems
> >>> totally
> >>>>>>>> impossible to me.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> JL
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> Agreed; plus I’m not sure where the fail is in answering “Isn’t
> >> it?”
> >>>>>>> negatively by responding “No, it isn’t”.  What’s more complicated
> >> is
> >>>> if
> >>>>> the
> >>>>>>> original question doesn’t have a contraction.  As an answer to
> >> “Did
> >>>> you
> >>>>> not
> >>>>>>> remember to take out the trash?” I can imagine either “No, I DID
> >>>>> remember”
> >>>>>>> or “No, I didn’t remember”.   But if the question had been “Didn’t
> >>> you
> >>>>>>> remember to take out the trash?” only the latter is possible (or,
> >> of
> >>>>> course
> >>>>>>> “Yes, I remembered”).
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> LH
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> On Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 3:07 PM, Baker, John <
> >> JBAKER at stradley.com>
> >>>>>>> wrote:
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> Barron-Lopez was answering the question “Isn’t it?”  Since the
> >>>>>>>>> (apparently) correct answer was “It is,” she could have answered
> >>>>> either
> >>>>>>>>> “Yes, it is” or “No, it is.”  English seems to fail when the
> >>> correct
> >>>>>>> answer
> >>>>>>>>> to “Isn’t it?” is “It is not.”
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> John Baker
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]
> >> On
> >>>>>>> Behalf
> >>>>>>>>> Of Jonathan Lighter
> >>>>>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 12:31 PM
> >>>>>>>>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> >>>>>>>>> Subject: Re: No = 'yes; truly'
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> External Email - Think Before You Click
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> John King, CNN: But, politically, it's kind of embarrassing for
> >>> the
> >>>>>>>>> Democrats. Isn't it?
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> Laura Barron-Lopez, _Washington Examiner_ (b. ca.1990?): No, it
> >>> *is*
> >>>>>>>>> embarrassing. It's another thing that's added to the long list
> >> of
> >>>> why
> >>>>>>> can't
> >>>>>>>>> the Clinton campaign, you know, say what they're doing or be
> >>> honest
> >>>>>>> about
> >>>>>>>>> something.
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> JL
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> On Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 7:21 AM, Berson at att.net<mailto:Berson@
> >>>> att.net>
> >>>>> <
> >>>>>>>>> Berson at att.net<mailto:Berson at att.net>> wrote:
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>> No, no, no, no, no ... yes.
> >>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>> Joel
> >>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>> Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE Smartphone
> >>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>> ------ Original message------
> >>>>>>>>>> *From: *Jonathan Lighter
> >>>>>>>>>> *Date: *Sun, Nov 6, 2016 3:02 PM
> >>>>>>>>>> *To: *ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:*ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>;
> >>>>>>>>>> *Subject:*Re: [ADS-L] No = 'yes; truly'
> >>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>> Chuck Todd on _Meet the Press_: "They were huge for Obama,
> >> [but]
> >>>>>>>>> they'vebeen stagnant this cycle."Tom Brokaw: "No, they have
> >>>>> been."Brokaw
> >>>>>>>>> went on to elaborate the stagnation.JLJLOn Wed, May 4, 2016 at
> >>> 11:56
> >>>>> PM,
> >>>>>>>>> Wilson Gray wrote:> On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 12:18 PM, Jonathan
> >>>> Lighter
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> wrote:>> > On Sun, May 1, 2016 at 9:03 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Is
> >>>>>>>>> this a variant?> > >> > > https://www.youtube.com/watch?
> >>>> v=V5GSq4Hea6E
> >>>>> <
> >>>>>>>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5GSq4Hea6E>> >>> So, it's
> >> *not*
> >>> a
> >>>>>>>>> variant. The Magic version is commonplace among the> colored.
> >>> Yeah,
> >>>>>>> naw.>>>
> >>>>>>>>> --> -Wilson> -----> All say, "How hard it is that we have to
> >>>> die!"---a
> >>>>>>>>> strange complaint to> come from the mouths of people who have
> >> had
> >>> to
> >>>>>>> live.>
> >>>>>>>>> -Mark Twain>> ------------------------------
> >>>>>>> ------------------------------>
> >>>>>>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org<
> >>>>>>>>> http://www.americandialect.org>>-- "If the truth is half as bad
> >>> as
> >>>> I
> >>>>>>>>> think it is, you can't handle the truth."-----------------------
> >>>>>>>>> -------------------------------------The American Dialect
> >>> Society -
> >>>>>>>>> http://www.americandialect.org<http://www.americandialect.org>
> >>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> --
> >>>>>>>>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle
> >>> the
> >>>>>>> truth."
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>>>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org<
> >>>>>>>>> http://www.americandialect.org>
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>>>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> --
> >>>>>>>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle
> >> the
> >>>>>>> truth."
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>>>>
> >>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> --
> >>>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> >>> truth."
> >>>>
> >>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >>
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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