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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Basic Biittner: Double negative is a no-no

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Back in the day, our high school English teacher, "Mrs. D," taught our eager young minds that the proper use of the English language did not include the use of the "double negative." (An example of a double being "He didn't say nothing."

I have been observing the flagrant use of another kind of "double negative" recently - the constant negative campaigning being done by political candidates in their television and radio spots.

As I recall, just a few short years ago, politicians in both major political parties swore up and down that candidates would no longer be presenting negative, name-calling campaigns.

I guess they didn't get the memo in Nebraska, where Senatorial candidates Pete Ricketts and Ben Nelson have been furiously slinging arrows back-and-forth, ranting about what the other did or did not do. Lately, Ricketts' team has even taken to screening a "delightful" (not) 'music video,' set to the tune of the old children's classic "Old McDonald Had a Farm," satirizing Senator Nelson.

Of course, Nebraska is not the only political battleground where the "no negative campaigning pledge" seems to have gone out the window - right, Mr. Culver and Mr.Nussle?

I am one voter who would just like to hear 1) what the candidate plans to do if elected, and 2) what their plan is to accomplish that goal. What I do NOT want to hear is what the other guy is going to do to screw things up.

If both candidates sling the mud, that's a "double negative," right?

And Mrs. D. said that's a no-no.

Dan Whitney
Basic Biittner