That’s a negative, Bucky!

NY Times opinionator Steven Strogatz shows an incomplete comprehension of negative numbers.  He does include this insightful quote

The eminent linguistic philosopher J. L. Austin of Oxford once gave a
lecture in which he asserted that there are many languages in which a
double negative makes a positive, but none in which a double positive
makes a negative — to which the Columbia philosopher Sidney
Morgenbesser, sitting in the audience, sarcastically replied, “Yeah,

Tip from Language Log, where there are more Morgenbesser-isms.


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