Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Today's English lesson

From the American Heritage Book of English Usage:


You should be careful where you put not and other negatives in a sentence in order to avoid ambiguity. The sentence
All classes are not open to enrollment
could be taken to mean either
“All classes are closed to enrollment”
“Not all classes are open to enrollment.”
Similarly, the sentence
Kim didn’t sleep until noon
could mean either
“Kim went to sleep at noon”
“Kim got up before noon.”

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