"I cannot emphasize"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Apr 24 01:18:05 UTC 2010

At 4/23/2010 11:46 AM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>On Apr 23, 2010, at 7:12 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>What category does this fit into?  Written about e-Bay.
>>I cannot emphasize how important it is to check on shipping costs,
>>which can vary wildly.
>it looks like a (venial) type of undernegation,

Strikes me as one of the deadly.


>with the negative
>polarity element "too much" suppressed, presumably because it can be
>supplied by the cooperative reader/hearer, perhaps on the grounds that
>the high-end-of-scale understanding is already provided by "how Adj"
>'very Adj' and doesn't need further expression in "too much".  no
>doubt larry horn can comment.
>certainly "I cannot emphasize how" is incredibly common.  a very few
>examples from among many:
>   Rest and Eat Well. I cannot emphasize how important this is. I had
>to learn the hard way.
>   http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090225213116AAvL5jR
>   I cannot emphasize how fantastic the pizza is at Al Forno, and what
>a tragedy it will be if you leave this place without having tried it.
>   http://www.yelp.com/biz/al-forno-restaurant-providence
>   Your research is one of the most important parts of your project.
>It is the basis for what you will be presenting to the judges. I
>cannot emphasize how important understanding the correct background
>information is.
>   http://www.sciencebuddies.org/mentoring/top_science-
>fair number of examples on GB.  but all the examples that come easily
>to hand strike me as informal in tone.  though probably an industrious
>ADS-Ler can find more elevated or "serious" examples.  i'm inclined to
>think that this is a language change that has already happened.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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