"double negative"; name "Johnjoe"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 14 13:07:51 UTC 2008

WRT "JohnJoe": Have we all forgotten the late, great American
minister, preacher, actor, and author, Marjoe (< Mary Joseph) Gortner?


On Jan 13, 2008 7:37 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "double negative"; name "Johnjoe"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Saw this yesterday, serendipitously as usual:
>   2006 Ian McEwan in Robin Headlam Wells & Johnjoe McFadden _ (London: Continuum) 41: Their paper...ended with the famously modest conclusion: 'It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.' 'It has not escaped our notice...' - the drawing-room politesse of the double negative is touchingly transparent. It roughly translates as 'Look at us everybody! We've found the mechanism by which life on earth replicates, we're excited as hell and can't sleep a wink...'
>   Seems to mean "single negative," unless somebody can reason more deviously.
>   Ian McEwan, CBE, is a well-known English novelist.
>   BTW, a Google search unearths a handful of other "Johnjoes," spelled sic. Most appear to be Irish, but 22,000 hits - most for McFadden - are daunting to search.
>   JL
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