Definitions for double negative
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a syntactic construction in which two negative words are used in the same clause to express a single negation.
* Usage: The double negative was standard in English through the time of Shakespeare. In Modern English it is universally considered nonstandard: They never paid me no money. He didn't have nothing to do with it. In educated speech or writing, any and anything would be substituted for no and nothing. Certain uses of double negation, to express an affirmative, are fully standard: We cannot sit here and do nothing (meaning “we must do something”). In the not unlikely event that the bill passes, prices will rise (meaning the event is likely). See also hardly.
Origin of double negative:
an affirmative constructed from two negatives
"A not unwelcome outcome"
a grammatically substandard but emphatic negative
"I don't never go"
A phrase in which there are two negative words or their compounds (e.g. no, not, never, none, etc), occasionally leading to ambiguity in the meaning, but necessary in some foreign languages.
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