I’m not a writer. I’d like to be, but I don’t think I have the discipline. Anyway, I do try to pay attention to the things that I read, and I came across a sentence fragment that drove me absolutely nuts today. Keeping it out of context, here’s what it said:

…”certainly didn’t make this mixture more unlikely.”

This is one of those double negatives that the English teachers go on and on about. Would it not have been simpler to just write:

…”certainly made this mixture more likely.”

My guess is that the writer felt that the original was somehow more clever, but in fact it’s just the lingual equivalent of overcooked pasta.

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