Saturday, September 17, 2005

Best Language

English language is one of the funniest language I have ever learnt. Oh yeah, it's not like I have learnt a lot (I only know Chinese, Malay and English language), but when I compare these languages, I find a lot more peculiarities and unpredictable variations in English language. It's not something bad though, it serves better as a source of amusement.

This is one of the best examples I stumbled upon in Slashdot.

A linguistics professor is giving a lecture. He explains that in English, prescriptive grammar dictates that a double negative creates a positive, for instance "I ain't got no money" would parse as "I have money." He then goes on to explain that in many languages, a double negative creates a more emphatic negative, for instance, in Russian "U menya nyet nichyevo" (literally, "By me is not had nothing") uses two negative phrases to create a stronger negative. Furthermore, the prof explains, in most languages, using two positives will create a more emphatic positive, or at the very least, will not change the meaning of a phrase, for instance "Yes, I have bananas" is fundamentally the same as "I have bananas." However, the proffessor concludes, in no language does a double positive create a negative.

A student, in the back of the class, muttering under his breath, was heard to utter "Yeah, right."
Enjoy! Good night...

5 comments:

Jiun Wuu said...

haha,nice 1,but chinese also got this kind of things also la,for example:我不是没有钱.means i got money.我不是不瘦,means i am fat...not only english,language r all like that...

Joanne said...

Yeah right!!!

LOL I love it!! Can I post in on my blog?? Pretty please?? *blinky eyes*

Ren Jie said...

Yea, but a lot of the Americans don't know! They always say "I ain't got no money" to mean that they don't have money!!! Grghhhhh...wonder whether they learn that in their english class...

Jimmy Tseng said...

How dare slashdot and you steal my joke... I got the joke before you did~~ Check on http://www.student.unimelb.edu.au/~jtseng/ under jokes to see what I mean~~

youngyew said...

Nah, Jimmy, I am sure you didn't create the joke and you got it somewhere as well... So is this some kind of promotion for your website? :D