Miklos
« Je donne mon avis non comme bon mais comme mien. » — Michel de Montaigne

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25 mars 2014

Dos and Don’ts, or, Man is a selfish, sad, negative and ignorant creature

Classé dans : Langue — Miklos @ 16:23


Click to enlarge.

The above figures were obtained by searching for the number of occurrences of expressions of the form “I + verb” and “I don’t + verb” in Google Books. The results should be taken with more than one grain of salt, as negative forms can start with the first form (e.g., “I hope not”, “I love you not”, etc.) or use the “do not” spelling.

Regardless, it is curious that the negative forms are more prevalent than the positive ones (this is even much more apparent for “I can/I can’t”), but also that I take more than I give (and I have so much! – but that’s also due to the use of “to have” as an auxiliary verb), I speak much more than I listen, I read three times as much as I write.

It is somewhat reassuring, however, that I eat more than I drink, that I walk and run more than I rest and sleep, and that I don’t yell as much as I cry. While I know much less than I don’t know, we must however conclude that quite a lot of us don’t think as much as they are, yet there are more skepticals than believers.

I don’t care, and I don’t mean it.

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