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aruna
08-09-2006, 10:42 AM
... and their friends. I hate them. What's more, I can never figure them out. They tie my brain in knots. There's this sentence in the Novels forum. Please explain it to me:



If you are being paid for doing nothing other than writing then you don't have to worry about the bills.

If you are doing nothing other than writing but not being paid then you do have to worry about the bills.

Robert Toy
08-09-2006, 12:01 PM
When you get it worked out would you please let me know?

ATP
08-09-2006, 01:35 PM
They throw me, too. Like you, I prefer direct, positive and clear communication.
These examples though I can manage.

i) If you are being paid for doing nothing other than writing then you don't have to worry about the bills.


Meaning: If the only activity/thing that you are doing is writing, and you are being paid for this, then the money you are earning from this is sufficient so that you can pay your bills. Therefore, you do not then have to worry about money.

ii) If you are doing nothing other than writing but not being paid then you do have to worry about the bills.

Meaning: If the only activity/thing that you are doing is writing, and you are not being paid for this, then you have no income, and so can not pay your bills. Therefore, you then have to worry about money.

aruna
08-09-2006, 01:50 PM
.


Meaning: If the only activity/thing that you are doing is writing, and you are being paid for this, then the money you are earning from this is sufficient so that you can pay your bills. Therefore, you do not then have to worry about money.

.

Thanks, I can follow. (edited - my comment belongs in another thread.)

Mike Coombes
08-09-2006, 03:44 PM
Ain't not no reason to be stressed, Sharon! :)

aruna
08-09-2006, 04:51 PM
Ain't not no reason to be stressed, Sharon! :)

If only you knew.

maestrowork
08-09-2006, 06:23 PM
I don't think they're double negatives... but I don't know nothing. ;)

If you are being paid for doing nothing other than writing then you don't have to worry about the bills.

If you're paid only for your writing and you don't have to do anything else (no day jobs), you don't have to worry about the bills.


If you are doing nothing other than writing but not being paid then you do have to worry about the bills.

If you are only writing, but you're not getting paid for doing that, you have to worry about the bills.

MidnightMuse
08-09-2006, 06:24 PM
"Can't get no dissatisfaction!"

Yep, that pair of sentences took me no less than 4 reads to figure out ! My eyes are still blurred.

aruna
08-09-2006, 06:35 PM
"Can't get no dissatisfaction!"

Yep, that pair of sentences took me no less than 4 reads to figure out ! My eyes are still blurred.

Glad I'm not the only one!

Bufty
08-09-2006, 06:38 PM
I don't think they're double negatives either. Neither do I think the first staement is a valid one.

If you are being paid for .......writing ....you don't have to worry about the bills.

If you are ...not being paid...you have to worry about the bills.



I don't think they're double negatives... but I don't know nothing. ;)

If you are being paid for doing nothing other than writing then you don't have to worry about the bills.

If you're paid only for your writing and you don't have to do anything else (no day jobs), you don't have to worry about the bills.


If you are doing nothing other than writing but not being paid then you do have to worry about the bills.

If you are only writing, but you're not getting paid for doing that, you have to worry about the bills.

aruna
08-09-2006, 06:42 PM
I know - that's why I added "...and friends", meaning anything that has more than one "no" or "not" or "nothing" in it, or on first reading sounds convoluted!

maestrowork
08-09-2006, 06:45 PM
I don't think they're double negatives either. Neither do I think the first staement is a valid one.

If you are being paid for .......writing ....you don't have to worry about the bills.

If you are ...not being paid...you have to worry about the bills.

I don't think the first sentence means that literally. I think it implies that someone is making lots of money writing only (e.g. JK Rowling).

If you are being paid for writing (ONLY) and you don't have to do anything else (no day jobs needed), you are set. You don't have to worry about the bills.

Bufty
08-09-2006, 06:47 PM
I know, it was only shortened for simplicity. But I think it's still an invalid statement. It may apply to JKR but as a general statement, it's nonsense.

The assumption (and you don't have to do anything else) was not in the original post.

Medievalist
08-09-2006, 07:30 PM
Ha!

Those aren't double negatives.

Here's a master at piling up the negatives:


He nevere yet no vileynye ne sayde
In al his lyf unto no maner wight.

pdr
08-09-2006, 07:59 PM
Chaucer makes sense.

Jamesaritchie
08-09-2006, 08:12 PM
... and their friends. I hate them. What's more, I can never figure them out. They tie my brain in knots. There's this sentence in the Novels forum. Please explain it to me:

If you are being paid for doing nothing other than writing then you don't have to worry about the bills.

This isn't a double negative, it just needs a comma after "writing."

It's plain enough. It means if you're being paid enough for you're writing to make a second job unnecessary, then you shouldn't have to worry about paying your bills.

Bufty
08-09-2006, 08:17 PM
I agree the meaning you've attached to it is clear. The italicised statement itself, in my view, is not.


If you are being paid for doing nothing other than writing then you don't have to worry about the bills.
This isn't a double negative, it just needs a comma after "writing."

It's plain enough. It means if you're being paid enough for you're writing to make a second job unnecessary, then you shouldn't have to worry about paying your bills.

Jamesaritchie
08-09-2006, 08:21 PM
I know, it was only shortened for simplicity. But I think it's still an invalid statement. It may apply to JKR but as a general statement, it's nonsense.

The assumption (and you don't have to do anything else) was not in the original post.

I'm not sure what the confusion is here.

If you are being paid for doing nothing other than writing then you don't have to worry about the bills.

There's nothing convoluted about this sentence, and nothing wrong with it gramattically, other than a missing comma.

I'm really surprised people haven't seen the phrase for doing nothing other than a hundred times.

It could certainly be rewritten to say, If you're making enough money from writing so that no other income is required, you shouldn't have to worry about paying your bills.

But the sentence isn't convoluted, isn't a double negative, uses common phraseology, and should be easily understood.

Bufty
08-09-2006, 08:28 PM
Its original context was in a thread about giving up everything to do writing full time, and being able to live off that income. In context it was a shade off being clear.

Shadow_Ferret
08-09-2006, 08:48 PM
Well, just remember:

There ain't no mountain high enough
Ain't no valley low enough
Ain't no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you

aruna
08-09-2006, 10:20 PM
I'm not sure what the confusion is here.



There's nothing convoluted about this sentence, and nothing wrong with it gramattically, other than a missing comma.

.

Well, a missing (or an extra!) comma is a big deal in my book. Remember Eats, Shoots and Leaves?

maestrowork
08-09-2006, 10:28 PM
Or:

A woman without her man is nothing.

(A woman. Without her, man is nothing.)

newmod
08-09-2006, 10:55 PM
(A woman. Without her, man is nothing.)Ļ

maestrowork thatīs cheating, nobody ainīt said nothing about no full-stops ... :D

MidnightMuse
08-09-2006, 10:56 PM
(A woman. Without her, man is nothing.)

Not only proper punctuation, but cold, hard fact, eh? :D

aruna
08-09-2006, 11:00 PM
If you are being paid for doing nothing other than writing then you don't have to worry about the bills.

If you are doing nothing other than writing but not being paid then you do have to worry about the bills.

I think the confusion fo me is caused primatily by that "nothing other", followed by "you don't". No it's not a double negative in the sense that one negative contradicts the other, but when I read it what first stikes me is, You are being paid for doing nothing, and that registers, and then comes other than writing, so I have to go back and figure that what is being said is basically "You are being paid for writing."

aruna
08-09-2006, 11:01 PM
Or:

A woman without her man is nothing.

(A woman. Without her, man is nothing.)

Nice to see you admitting it, Ray!:)

Jamesaritchie
08-09-2006, 11:35 PM
Well, a missing (or an extra!) comma is a big deal in my book. Remember Eats, Shoots and Leaves?

Yes, but in this case the missing comma doesn't change the meaning in any way.

aruna
08-09-2006, 11:56 PM
But my brain was too small to follow.

Bufty
08-10-2006, 12:04 AM
And on that charming and gracious note....................

rekirts
08-10-2006, 02:00 AM
Ah ha! Now I get it. I didn't have any problem understanding the sentences, BUT on first run-through I did have to regroup when I got past 'nothing' and on to 'other than' because I too thought the sentence was going to be about being paid for doing nothing.

(Feel free to add commas to the above as you see fit. :D )

Soccer Mom
08-10-2006, 11:43 PM
I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies.

TsukiRyoko
08-11-2006, 06:48 AM
.........

Whoever wrote that is either a poet or someone who needs a good smack. Don't not use no double negatives!

Sandi LeFaucheur
08-12-2006, 04:08 PM
If you are being paid for doing nothing other than writing then you don't have to worry about the bills.

If you are doing nothing other than writing but not being paid then you do have to worry about the bills.


I may be totally out to lunch (and it's only breakfast time), but to me, the first one sounds like someone is paying you to NOT do anything else. A sweet number, if you can get it! You are being paid for doing nothing. Maybe it could be the case that some organization may need you to write something at the drop of a hat, and so pays you to twiddle your thumbs in between assignments.

And if anyone knows of a job like that, can they please let me know? http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

And the second one--realizing that you may not get all that many assignments--says that if they only pay you on an assignment basis, you'd better get another job, because you sure won't live on your earnings from this one.

Jamesaritchie
08-12-2006, 04:38 PM
I may be totally out to lunch (and it's only breakfast time), but to me, the first one sounds like someone is paying you to NOT do anything else. A sweet number, if you can get it! You are being paid for doing nothing. Maybe it could be the case that some organization may need you to write something at the drop of a hat, and so pays you to twiddle your thumbs in between assignments.

And if anyone knows of a job like that, can they please let me know? http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

And the second one--realizing that you may not get all that many assignments--says that if they only pay you on an assignment basis, you'd better get another job, because you sure won't live on your earnings from this one.

It's interesting how many interpretations there are of this sentence, despite it's age and commonness. I honestly don't see how you came up with this one, but it is interesting.

Sandi LeFaucheur
08-12-2006, 07:24 PM
It's interesting how many interpretations there are of this sentence, despite it's age and commonness. I honestly don't see how you came up with this one, but it is interesting.

"If you are being paid for doing nothing other than writing then you don't have to worry about the bills."
Take out "other than writing"! http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif "If you are being paid for doing nothing, then you don't have to worry about the bills."

Reckon it's just wishful thinking?http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon12.gif