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NS (or grammarian) needed: or in negative expression

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  • Jan Vaněk jr.
    From a Dilbert comics: D: My project is on hold. Do you need any help on yours? Alice: Sure. Call these customers and tell them we can t deliver on time or
    Message 1 of 14 , Apr 1, 2008
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      From a Dilbert comics:

      D: My project is on hold. Do you need any help on yours?
      Alice: Sure. Call these customers and tell them we can't deliver
      on time or with the features they need.
      D: Do you have any tasks that *don't* feel like getting waterboarded
      on your birthday?
      A: And tell them the price went up.

      Now, does the "or" (rather) mean "neither-nor" (with the punchline
      completing the triad), or a "one or the other" tradeoff (as I'm
      told is the custom for IT, by definition of software development
      which ensures at least something is always there to deliver),
      i. e., interestingly, the same thing the sentence would mean
      without the "not"?

      Thanks,

      --
      Jan Vanìk jr. - http://twitter.com/jvjr - same username at Gmail

      A translation from Talpress: the guy who was writing
      sensible-but-radical posts to various newsgroups I hung out in
      - ten kluk, který psal chytré, ale radikální èlánky do
      rozlièných novin, kterých jsem si vždycky všimnul ...
    • Valerie Talacko
      It means tell them three bits of bad news - we can t deliver on time, we don t have the features they need and the price has gone up. Valerie ... From: Jan
      Message 2 of 14 , Apr 1, 2008
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        It means 'tell them three bits of bad news - we can't deliver on time, we don't have the features they need and the price has gone up.'

        Valerie

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Jan Vaněk jr.
        To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 3:00 PM
        Subject: [Czechlist] NS (or grammarian) needed: or in negative expression


        From a Dilbert comics:

        D: My project is on hold. Do you need any help on yours?
        Alice: Sure. Call these customers and tell them we can't deliver
        on time or with the features they need.
        D: Do you have any tasks that *don't* feel like getting waterboarded
        on your birthday?
        A: And tell them the price went up.

        Now, does the "or" (rather) mean "neither-nor" (with the punchline
        completing the triad), or a "one or the other" tradeoff (as I'm
        told is the custom for IT, by definition of software development
        which ensures at least something is always there to deliver),
        i. e., interestingly, the same thing the sentence would mean
        without the "not"?

        Thanks,

        --
        Jan Vanìk jr. - http://twitter.com/jvjr - same username at Gmail

        A translation from Talpress: the guy who was writing
        sensible-but-radical posts to various newsgroups I hung out in
        - ten kluk, který psal chytré, ale radikální èlánky do
        rozlièných novin, kterých jsem si vzdycky vsimnul ...





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jennifer Hejtmánková
        Yes, as Vlaier says - it means we can t do this OR this, ADN we can t do this either (keep the price low, in this case) Ain t English fun? :))) Jennifer ...
        Message 3 of 14 , Apr 1, 2008
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          Yes, as Vlaier says - it means "we can't do this OR this, ADN we can't
          do this either (keep the price low, in this case)"

          Ain't English fun? :)))

          Jennifer

          On 1.4.2008, at 16:08, Valerie Talacko wrote:

          > It means 'tell them three bits of bad news - we can't deliver on
          > time, we don't have the features they need and the price has gone up.'
          >
          > Valerie
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: Jan Vaněk jr.
          > To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 3:00 PM
          > Subject: [Czechlist] NS (or grammarian) needed: or in negative
          > expression
          >
          > From a Dilbert comics:
          >
          > D: My project is on hold. Do you need any help on yours?
          > Alice: Sure. Call these customers and tell them we can't deliver
          > on time or with the features they need.
          > D: Do you have any tasks that *don't* feel like getting waterboarded
          > on your birthday?
          > A: And tell them the price went up.
          >
          > Now, does the "or" (rather) mean "neither-nor" (with the punchline
          > completing the triad), or a "one or the other" tradeoff (as I'm
          > told is the custom for IT, by definition of software development
          > which ensures at least something is always there to deliver),
          > i. e., interestingly, the same thing the sentence would mean
          > without the "not"?
          >
          > Thanks,
          >
          > --
          > Jan Vanìk jr. - http://twitter.com/jvjr - same username at Gmail
          >
          > A translation from Talpress: the guy who was writing
          > sensible-but-radical posts to various newsgroups I hung out in
          > - ten kluk, který psal chytré, ale radikální èlánky do
          > rozlièných novin, kterých jsem si vzdycky vsimnul ...
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • James Kirchner
          I agree. We can t do 1 or 2, means, We can t do 1. + We can t do 2. The negative particle in can t applies to both items. This application of a
          Message 4 of 14 , Apr 1, 2008
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            I agree.

            "We can't do 1 or 2," means, "We can't do 1." + "We can't do 2." The
            negative particle in "can't" applies to both items.

            This application of a negative particle across clause boundaries
            becomes a factor in bad Czech-to-English translations, as I brought up
            on the list in days of yore.

            For example, there was a show on Czech TV called "Nevahej a toc!".
            The CTV website translated the title as "Don't hesitate and shoot!"
            which actually means, "Nevahej a netoc!" because the negative particle
            in "don't" applies to both verbs. The title should have been
            translated as something like, "Hurry up and shoot!"

            Jamie
          • melvyn.geo
            Hello Honza, ... interpretation in negative sentences. Well, that s what it says here: http://www.ling.umd.edu/cnl/lunch/goro.html E.g. Junior didn t eat the
            Message 5 of 14 , Apr 1, 2008
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              Hello Honza,

              :-) Don't forget, English 'or' can yield a 'conjunctive'
              interpretation in negative sentences. Well, that's what it says here:
              http://www.ling.umd.edu/cnl/lunch/goro.html

              E.g. Junior didn't eat the carrot or the pepper = he didn't eat the
              carrot AND he didn't eat the pepper = he ate neither the carrot nor
              the pepper.

              For your 'mutually exclusive' idea to be expressed, I would look for
              an EITHER/OR construction.

              Fascinating stuff.

              M.

              --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jan Vaněk jr."
              <jan.vanek.jr@...> wrote:
              >
              > From a Dilbert comics:
              >
              > D: My project is on hold. Do you need any help on yours?
              > Alice: Sure. Call these customers and tell them we can't deliver
              > on time or with the features they need.
              > D: Do you have any tasks that *don't* feel like getting waterboarded
              > on your birthday?
              > A: And tell them the price went up.
              >
              > Now, does the "or" (rather) mean "neither-nor" (with the punchline
              > completing the triad), or a "one or the other" tradeoff (as I'm
              > told is the custom for IT, by definition of software development
              > which ensures at least something is always there to deliver),
              > i. e., interestingly, the same thing the sentence would mean
              > without the "not"?
              >
              > Thanks,
              >
              > --
              > Jan Vanìk jr. - http://twitter.com/jvjr - same username at Gmail
              >
              > A translation from Talpress: the guy who was writing
              > sensible-but-radical posts to various newsgroups I hung out in
              > - ten kluk, který psal chytré, ale radikální èlánky do
              > rozlièných novin, kterých jsem si vždycky všimnul ...
              >
            • James Kirchner
              I can t help you and cook dinner. = I can t do both at the same time. I can t help you or cook dinner. = I can t do either of them at all. Jamie ...
              Message 6 of 14 , Apr 1, 2008
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                "I can't help you and cook dinner."
                = I can't do both at the same time.

                "I can't help you or cook dinner."
                = I can't do either of them at all.

                Jamie

                On Apr 1, 2008, at 7:38 PM, melvyn.geo wrote:

                > Hello Honza,
                >
                > :-) Don't forget, English 'or' can yield a 'conjunctive'
                > interpretation in negative sentences. Well, that's what it says here:
                > http://www.ling.umd.edu/cnl/lunch/goro.html
                >
                > E.g. Junior didn't eat the carrot or the pepper = he didn't eat the
                > carrot AND he didn't eat the pepper = he ate neither the carrot nor
                > the pepper.
                >
                > For your 'mutually exclusive' idea to be expressed, I would look for
                > an EITHER/OR construction.
                >
                > Fascinating stuff.
                >
                > M.
                >
                > --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jan Vaněk jr."
                > <jan.vanek.jr@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > From a Dilbert comics:
                > >
                > > D: My project is on hold. Do you need any help on yours?
                > > Alice: Sure. Call these customers and tell them we can't deliver
                > > on time or with the features they need.
                > > D: Do you have any tasks that *don't* feel like getting waterboarded
                > > on your birthday?
                > > A: And tell them the price went up.
                > >
                > > Now, does the "or" (rather) mean "neither-nor" (with the punchline
                > > completing the triad), or a "one or the other" tradeoff (as I'm
                > > told is the custom for IT, by definition of software development
                > > which ensures at least something is always there to deliver),
                > > i. e., interestingly, the same thing the sentence would mean
                > > without the "not"?
                > >
                > > Thanks,
                > >
                > > --
                > > Jan Van�k jr. - http://twitter.com/jvjr - same username at Gmail
                > >
                > > A translation from Talpress: the guy who was writing
                > > sensible-but-radical posts to various newsgroups I hung out in
                > > - ten kluk, kter� psal chytr�, ale radik�ln� �l�nky do
                > > rozli�n�ch novin, kter�ch jsem si v�dycky v�imnul ...
                > >
                >
                >
                >



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Jan Vaněk jr.
                ... My maths training never lets me forget that a negation of disjunction is a conjunction of negations, and I tried to argue so in the debate that brought me
                Message 7 of 14 , Apr 2, 2008
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                  --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "melvyn.geo" <zehrovak@...> wrote:

                  > :-) Don't forget, English 'or' can yield a 'conjunctive'
                  > interpretation in negative sentences. Well, that's what it says here:
                  > http://www.ling.umd.edu/cnl/lunch/goro.html

                  My maths training never lets me forget that a negation of disjunction
                  is a conjunction of negations, and I tried to argue so in the debate
                  that brought me here for the ultimate (read: perhaps more inclined
                  to my point the previous ones ;-) authority, but it isn't always
                  so easy in natural languages - or at the very least, I was thinking
                  too much in Czech, which is apparently closer to Japanese than to
                  English.

                  Might this be another vestige of, IIRC/ISTR, the influence of
                  mathematics during the 17th (or 18th?) century that was purportedly
                  the main reason for prescribing the double negative out of English?

                  Thanks to all who replied!

                  --
                  Jan Vanek jr.
                • Gerald Turner
                  Dear Jan, Changing the subject: could I suggest that you replace the e s hackem with a plain e in your email address? Gerry ... -- Czech-In Translations V
                  Message 8 of 14 , Apr 2, 2008
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                    Dear Jan,

                    Changing the subject: could I suggest that you replace the "e s hackem"
                    with a plain "e" in your email address?

                    Gerry

                    On 02/04/2008, Jan Vaněk jr. <jan.vanek.jr@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com <Czechlist%40yahoogroups.com>,
                    > "melvyn.geo" <zehrovak@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > :-) Don't forget, English 'or' can yield a 'conjunctive'
                    > > interpretation in negative sentences. Well, that's what it says here:
                    > > http://www.ling.umd.edu/cnl/lunch/goro.html
                    >
                    > My maths training never lets me forget that a negation of disjunction
                    > is a conjunction of negations, and I tried to argue so in the debate
                    > that brought me here for the ultimate (read: perhaps more inclined
                    > to my point the previous ones ;-) authority, but it isn't always
                    > so easy in natural languages - or at the very least, I was thinking
                    > too much in Czech, which is apparently closer to Japanese than to
                    > English.
                    >
                    > Might this be another vestige of, IIRC/ISTR, the influence of
                    > mathematics during the 17th (or 18th?) century that was purportedly
                    > the main reason for prescribing the double negative out of English?
                    >
                    > Thanks to all who replied!
                    >
                    > --
                    > Jan Vanek jr.
                    >
                    >
                    >



                    --
                    Czech-In Translations
                    V lesíčku 5
                    150 00 Prague 5
                    Czech Republic
                    Tel/fax: ++ 420 235 357 194

                    To see a World in a Grain of Sand
                    And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
                    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
                    And Eternity in an hour.


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • melvyn.geo
                    ... I can t help you and cook dinner. = I can t do both at the same time. Hmmm OK, I feel AND could well be marked for expressiveness here and might often be
                    Message 9 of 14 , Apr 2, 2008
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                      --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, James Kirchner <jpklists@...> wrote:
                      "I can't help you and cook dinner."
                      = I can't do both at the same time.

                      Hmmm OK, I feel AND could well be marked for expressiveness here and
                      might often be uttered with emphasis, if it is in the sense of "I
                      can't help you with your homework AND cook your dinner" = "I don't
                      have two ***** pairs of hands, you know!"

                      However, the situation is surely complicated by the possibility of
                      hendiadys: "I can't help you and cook dinner" = "I can't help you to
                      cook dinner" or "I can't help you by cooking the dinner" on the same
                      model as: Don't try and help him = don't try to help him.

                      Going off on this tangent for a moment, Jarmila Tarnyiková deals with
                      this hendiadys issue in her excellent Sentence Complexes in Text.
                      Other (positive) examples she takes from the British National Corpus:
                      Be sure and get paid for everything = Be sure to get paid for everything.
                      Could I start and remind delegates... = Could I start by reminding
                      delegates...
                      Be an angel and shut up = Mlc s drzkou anebo dostanes (OK no hits on
                      Google for this, but I swear that's what I've heard in Kladno :-O, but
                      I digress).

                      "Hendiadys presents a formidable problem for the analyst as well as
                      for ESL acquisition. The problem of how to distinguish between two
                      separate predications and hendiadys is also of relevance to the
                      processes of translating and interpreting." (p. 112 ibid)

                      "I can't help you or cook dinner."
                      = I can't do either of them at all.

                      This strikes me as being the more common unmarked form in a negative
                      sentence.

                      BR

                      M.
                    • James Kirchner
                      ... Yes, that s very probable, although I have no idea what IIRC/ISTR means. The grammarians of the 17th and 18th century forced a lot of rules on English
                      Message 10 of 14 , Apr 2, 2008
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                        On Apr 2, 2008, at 7:14 AM, Jan Vaněk jr. wrote:

                        > Might this be another vestige of, IIRC/ISTR, the influence of
                        > mathematics during the 17th (or 18th?) century that was purportedly
                        > the main reason for prescribing the double negative out of English?

                        Yes, that's very probable, although I have no idea what "IIRC/ISTR"
                        means.

                        The grammarians of the 17th and 18th century forced a lot of rules on
                        English that were very unnatural to the language, based on their
                        assumption that Latin was more perfect and more rational. However,
                        when they didn't like some characteristic of English that was similar
                        to one in Latin -- such as double negatives -- they ignored Latin and
                        used math as their rationale.

                        Jamie



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Veselý Petr
                        Hello everybody, I would appreciate help with the explanation of the above terms in the context of Company Register Information. The document says : Last
                        Message 11 of 14 , Apr 2, 2008
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                          Hello everybody,

                          I would appreciate help with the explanation of the above terms in the context of Company Register Information.

                          The document says :

                          Last accounts made up to: 24/01/2000
                          Next accounts due
                          Last return made up to
                          Next return due

                          Accounts of XYZ company made up to
                          Return made up to 24/01/2007

                          Does "return" mean simply "zisk"? What do they mean by "accounts" - ucetni vykazy, zakaznici, ucty, something else?

                          TIA
                          Petr



                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Matej Klimes
                          posledni ucetni uzaverka a posledni danove priznani (podano) atd... M ... From: Veselý Petr To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 8:22
                          Message 12 of 14 , Apr 2, 2008
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                            posledni ucetni uzaverka a posledni danove priznani (podano) atd...

                            M

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Veselý Petr
                            To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 8:22 AM
                            Subject: [Czechlist] "Accounts" and "Return" in Company Register Information


                            Hello everybody,

                            I would appreciate help with the explanation of the above terms in the context of Company Register Information.

                            The document says :

                            Last accounts made up to: 24/01/2000
                            Next accounts due
                            Last return made up to
                            Next return due

                            Accounts of XYZ company made up to
                            Return made up to 24/01/2007

                            Does "return" mean simply "zisk"? What do they mean by "accounts" - ucetni vykazy, zakaznici, ucty, something else?

                            TIA
                            Petr

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Martin Janda
                            Presne tak. Martin
                            Message 13 of 14 , Apr 2, 2008
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                              Presne tak.
                              Martin

                              Matej Klimes napsal(a):
                              >
                              >
                              > posledni ucetni uzaverka a posledni danove priznani (podano) atd...
                              >
                              > M
                              >
                              > ----- Original Message -----
                              > From: Veselý Petr
                              > To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Czechlist%40yahoogroups.com>
                              > Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 8:22 AM
                              > Subject: [Czechlist] "Accounts" and "Return" in Company Register Information
                              >
                              > Hello everybody,
                              >
                              > I would appreciate help with the explanation of the above terms in the
                              > context of Company Register Information.
                              >
                              > The document says :
                              >
                              > Last accounts made up to: 24/01/2000
                              > Next accounts due
                              > Last return made up to
                              > Next return due
                              >
                              > Accounts of XYZ company made up to
                              > Return made up to 24/01/2007
                              >
                              > Does "return" mean simply "zisk"? What do they mean by "accounts" -
                              > ucetni vykazy, zakaznici, ucty, something else?
                              >
                              > TIA
                              > Petr
                            • Veselý Petr
                              Diky, chlapi, není tam kontext a ja mam ted obdobi, kdy mi to moc nepali, tak jste mi vytrhli trn z paty. Petr ... From: Martin Janda To:
                              Message 14 of 14 , Apr 3, 2008
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                                Diky, chlapi,

                                není tam kontext a ja mam ted obdobi, kdy mi to moc nepali, tak jste mi vytrhli trn z paty.

                                Petr

                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: Martin Janda
                                To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 8:53 AM
                                Subject: Re: [Czechlist] "Accounts" and "Return" in Company Register Information


                                Presne tak.
                                Martin

                                Matej Klimes napsal(a):
                                >
                                >
                                > posledni ucetni uzaverka a posledni danove priznani (podano) atd...
                                >
                                > M
                                >
                                > ----- Original Message -----
                                > From: Veselý Petr
                                > To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Czechlist%40yahoogroups.com>
                                > Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 8:22 AM
                                > Subject: [Czechlist] "Accounts" and "Return" in Company Register Information
                                >
                                > Hello everybody,
                                >
                                > I would appreciate help with the explanation of the above terms in the
                                > context of Company Register Information.
                                >
                                > The document says :
                                >
                                > Last accounts made up to: 24/01/2000
                                > Next accounts due
                                > Last return made up to
                                > Next return due
                                >
                                > Accounts of XYZ company made up to
                                > Return made up to 24/01/2007
                                >
                                > Does "return" mean simply "zisk"? What do they mean by "accounts" -
                                > ucetni vykazy, zakaznici, ucty, something else?
                                >
                                > TIA
                                > Petr




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