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Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus


Try the following sentences on your teenager. (Sing where possible!)

a) It's worth it.
b) It's not worth it.
c) It's not not worth it.
d) It's not worth nothing.
e) Nothing ain't worth nothing but it's free (Kris Kristofferson version)
f) Nothing ain't worth nothing hon' if it ain't free. (Janis Joplin version)
(Thanks to an imperfectly anonymous reviewer for MCA for straightening out my discography for the last two examples.)

See if he can explain WHICH sentences mean something is worth it and which ones mean it's not worth it. Of course, this IS related to the notion of a negative operating on a positive to produce a negative. 

But how to explain the relationship? I think it's not that systems of negation in language are mathematical; it's that systems of negation in MATHEMATICS tend to the linguistic. That's the way ALL higher psychological processes work.

David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

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