Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
CIO, common sentence errors, overnegation
What does this sentence mean?
It’s unlikely that the software will never be standardized.
a. The software is likely to be standardized.
b. The software is not likely to be standardized.
Let’s break it down: What is unlikely? That the software will never be standardized. Therefore, the software is likely to be standardized.
This particular misnegation crops up here and there online:
This is one way to intimidate and discourage people from not voting. (link)
Perhaps requiring a legitimate ID in order to vote may discourage many from not voting. (link)
so each of these counties, as well as counties in other crucial swing states is to frighten those undecideds with xenophobic, jingoistic race baiting or discourage those undecideds from not voting. (link)
He said such a campaign was intended to create fears and panic among aliens, aimed to discourage people from not voting for the NPP. (link)
Recently, Greg Ferro, of EtherealMind renown, provided an instructive overview on SDN APIs, opining that it is “unlikely that Northbound APIs will never standardise but I’m not aware of any initiatives in this area.”
I don’t know whether northbound APIs, as Greg suggests, will never standardize, but I do know that most knowledgeable observers (including the aforementioned parties) believe that there should no headlong rush toward standardization.
The writer missed the double negation and took the meaning of “unlikely never to standardize” to mean “unlikely to standardize.” Ferro’s intended meaning was likely that he thinks it likely that northbound APIs will eventually standardize, although he doesn’t know of any current efforts toward that standardization.
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