[Ads-l] Triple negative

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 1 15:53:13 EST 2016

The essential meaning seems clear (though the negative phrasing changes the direction causation to a possible causation): I think that because Ryan ran a strong campaign, this has happened.

Perhaps the correct utterance is this:
If Ryan had not run a strong campaign, I don’t think that any of this would have happened.

If so, the “I do not think” could be a production error due to the complexity of the grammar.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

> On 1 Dec 2016, at 12:38, Brian Hitchcock <brianhi at SKECHERS.COM> wrote:
> What do you make of this? It's from an article about Nancy Pelosi's retention of her seat as House Minority Leader, and of concessions gained by caucus members that lessen Pelosi's power to control DCCC appointments.
> http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/nancy-pelosi-house-democrats-232023
> "I do not think if Tim Ryan had not run a strong campaign, I don't know that any of this would've happened."
> Ironically, this was spoken by Representative Marcia Fudge.

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

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