General Question

Nimis's avatar

Are certain words self-negating (particularly when used in first person)?

Asked by Nimis (13127points) October 1st, 2008

For instance:
Do winners ever really describe themselves as winners?
Do classy people ever really describe themselves as classy?

Am I totally off my rocker?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

122 Answers

drhat77's avatar

I don’t understand how you are using self-negating here – do you mean a winner automatically becomes not-a-winner just because he caled himself one?

Nimis's avatar

Kind of? Not so direct like that though.
But it seems as if real winners rarely choose to describe themselves as a winner.

Real winners sounds really stupid. But you know what I mean.

drhat77's avatar

i kind of see what you are saying – maybe. i consider myself a modest person – but i don’t feel i have undone that just by stating it. it is an important part of my identity, and i acknowledge and embrace it.

Nimis's avatar

I am a classy winner.
There. Had to beat any of you wisecracks to the (lame) punch.

AstroChuck's avatar

Can a liar call himself a liar and be believed?

drhat77's avatar

@astro, i know you were being tongue in cheek, but i have some interesting musings on deceipt, if you care to – hey, don’t go! i was just getting warmed up!

Nimis's avatar

DrH: Funny that you brought that up.
Modest and humble were our two runner-ups.
But we ultimately decided that they do not qualify.
As in, no, you’re not necessarily not modest if you use it to describe yourself.

Astro: Good one. But what about the part-time liar?

AstroChuck's avatar

I was semi-serious, actually. Although, my tongue is resting against my check as I type this.

drhat77's avatar

nimis – why do humble and modest not qualify? unless i missed your point, they tottaly seem to fit this rule.

Nimis's avatar

DrH: I think those two fall in some kind of grey area?

drhat77's avatar

@astro – if a liar lies more than 51% of the time, no one will EVER beleive him. 50% is a coin toss. so a liar can only lie 49% of the time or less. but since most people can’t count, a safe bet for a liar hovers around 30%. so if you believe all liars, odds are still in your favor.

AstroChuck's avatar

Ow! My brain hurts.

augustlan's avatar

I see what you’re saying, Nimis. It’s a tricky thing to figure out, though!

drhat77's avatar

nimis, i think i have totally missed what you are saying, then

SpatzieLover's avatar

I am too modest and humble to answer.

Nimis's avatar

DrH: I think our reasoning was that to say “I am not humble”
isn’t necessarily more humble than just saying “Yes, I am humble.”?

AstroChuck's avatar

Well, all I can say is my modesty is second to none.

drhat77's avatar

if i give astrochuck any more lurve, his head may literally explode. i hope it’s filled with colorful candy.

drhat77's avatar

nimis, now my head hurts. i have no clue what you are saying.

augustlan's avatar

Me, too!

Regarding AC’s head, I mean.

Nimis's avatar

I just gave him some more lurve.
Am a little disappointed there are no pinata fireworks.

AstroChuck's avatar

Wow. I hope my head is full of candy too. Hey wait, it is! It’s full of smarties!

Nimis's avatar

I don’t know either. Maybe humble and modest should qualify?
Hey, I don’t know! I’m the one asking the question here.
I am entitled to being the most confused!

drhat77's avatar

astro, i picture you as one of those carnival baloons that you have to keep aiming the water gun into their mouths so you can pop them.

augustlan's avatar

Smarties are yummy!

augustlan's avatar

I think that words that carry a conotation of bragging are the ones this thread applies to.

drhat77's avatar

augustlan – you can TOTALLY brag about being modest. bragging about being a winner is SO MUCH LESS self negating than that.

augustlan's avatar

LOL…guess you have a point.

AstroChuck's avatar

How about this statement, spoken aloud-
I am mute.

Nimis's avatar

My head is going to implode.

Nimis's avatar

[chuckle]

drhat77's avatar

@astro – what if you have one of those throat-cancer talkers? or have beaten stephen hawking over the head and ran off with his wheelchair. which you then use to talk through?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Astro…I am at a loss for words, too.

AstroChuck's avatar

That would be cheating. Okay, how about I’m braindead; does that work?

drhat77's avatar

come on, people! astro gets the last word? I’M BEATING A CRIPPLE OVER THE HEAD HERE!

Nimis's avatar

DrH: Hahahahaha…how did we get to Stephen Hawking?!

drhat77's avatar

@astro, please, have you SEEN the youth of this nation?

Nimis's avatar

DrH: Lurve for beating a cripple over the head.
(As if there could ever be a better reason for getting lurve.)

AstroChuck's avatar

Yeah. I hate those damn cripples. I want to park up front too.

drhat77's avatar

i TOTALLY must have been a gnarly sophist in a past life

drhat77's avatar

@astro LOL

Nimis's avatar

You’ll have to excuse me while I go to the restroom.
Must empty the bladder, lest I read any further, laugh too hard and wet myself.

augustlan's avatar

drhat, you must have TOTALLY grown up in the 80s! gnarly is so radical, dude.

drhat77's avatar

@augustlan COWABUNGA dude

AstroChuck's avatar

and tubular.

Nimis's avatar

and bodacious.

augustlan's avatar

Oh, we are all showing our age!

drhat77's avatar

@augustlan – my crack about those young whipper-snappers didn’t show my age enough?

augustlan's avatar

I forgot about that one! How old are you guys, anyway?

AstroChuck's avatar

Groovy. Wait, I over-shot there.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Call me naive…but I think you are you all rather silly?

drhat77's avatar

31 – and starting to feel my age, especially when it gets cold out. time for some linament!

augustlan's avatar

We really should be in the chatroom, I think.

Pssh…I’m 41 dammit.

AstroChuck's avatar

I’ve got you all beat. In two months I’ll be 47. So there!
Wait. Why am I bragging about that?

augustlan's avatar

Whew…saved by AC!

augustlan's avatar

Good old AC.

drhat77's avatar

Can saying your old (or young) be self-negating?

Nimis's avatar

Ha…way to get back on topic.

drhat77's avatar

YAY! I earned 50 lurve on this question alone! I’m A WINNER!

Nimis's avatar

Can words be self-negating because they’re dated?
Like I’m a youngin’?
But no one says that in all seriousness.

augustlan's avatar

This Q has to have the most responses of the last couple of days. Thanks for (inadvertantly, maybe) giving us something fun to talk about!

SpatzieLover's avatar

My innocence prevents me from understanding all this drivel.

Nimis's avatar

Uh…the most responses from like five people.

drhat77's avatar

@spatzie, if you want to stay innocent, DO NOT observe a thread AstroChuck is actively commenting in.

augustlan's avatar

Well, yeah, but five classy people!

Nimis's avatar

Shield your eyes, little one

SpatzieLover's avatar

My poor virgin eyes. ;)

Nimis's avatar

Speaking of virgin [Did you like that segue?]...
Is a promise ring the physical embodiment of a self-negating word?

drhat77's avatar

here he comes, spatzie, RUN!

AstroChuck's avatar

What are you saying? That I’m some old cherry popper or something?

drhat77's avatar

nimis – how? i promise to set a date to marry you? is that self-negating? just when i thought i understood this

augustlan's avatar

Well, old at least ; )

SpatzieLover's avatar

My Catholicism doesn’t allow me to be in company with dirty old men.

augustlan's avatar

I think you mean a chastity ring.

Nimis's avatar

Most of the people in my high school who wore those weren’t exactly…erm virgin?
Oops, yes. A chastity ring!

AstroChuck's avatar

Ouch. That’s two “old” references from you, Auggie Doggie.
Five minutes in the penalty box!

drhat77's avatar

i thought a promise ring was like a pre-engagement ring – i promise to marry you, we just haven’t picked a date.

Nimis's avatar

DrH: It is. I’m just retarded and mixed it up.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@dr there are two kinds now: Promise to your dad/parents you’ll be pure till marriage…or promise to date steady (i’d be redifining pure if my dad stuck a ring on my finger

drhat77's avatar

is recognizing you’re retarded self negating? Class, I want you to read Flowers for Algernon

Nimis's avatar

You would hope so. But I recognize it all the time, yet continue to do so.
sigh

drhat77's avatar

yeah that sounds like asking the wolf to watch the sheep (i mean chastity rings)

Seesul's avatar

<<astrojetting over to Chuck’s house, faster than a speeding bullet if those Smarties are Canadian (and not Canadian Rockets). Go drhat, go make the piƱata explode!!!!

AstroChuck's avatar

If somebody asks you if all you ever say is no and you answer “yes”, is that self-negating?
He asks as head pressure continues to build.

Nimis's avatar

Seesul: We’ve stuffed him full. All he needs now is [removed because of sexual innuendo].

Seesul's avatar

mayhaps…and that’s a definite maybe.

AstroChuck's avatar

Seesul, you’d better hurry over. A Tootsie Roll just popped out my left ear!
By the way, what happened to your avatar?
@Nimis- Sadly, I already have one of those.

Seesul's avatar

It went to the avatorium.

Seesul's avatar

Someone from Canada needs to explain my comment.

Nimis's avatar

Explain yourself, Canadian.
[points finger at the foreigner]

Wait, are you Canadian?

augustlan's avatar

Canadian smarties are different?

Nimis's avatar

Is Canadian smarties an oxymoron?
Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Chuck, how’s the head? If it has actually exploded, have you filled enough bowls so you won’t need to buy candy for Halloween? I just hope it was full of fun size Snickers and Three Musketeers instead of those cheap pixie sticks and bottle caps.

Another word that might fall into this category is charitable. Everyone says that the only way to be charitable is to give quietly without patting oneself on the back. If you boast that you are charitable, does that negate the charitability (is that even a word)?

Also, is there a difference between affirming to the positive i.e. I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it people like me vs, “Oh yes, I am a humble, giving, genius”?

drhat77's avatar

@astrochuck – kinda like Bit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_Control_Program_(Tron)#Bit from Tron. It was asked if all i t could was “yes” and it said “no”. but that was ALL it could say. By the way you won the argument.

AstroChuck's avatar

How about if someone were to
say tha—BOOM!

drhat77's avatar

CANDY! YAY!!!
uhh i’m gonna have a tummy ache

augustlan's avatar

Ah, we’ll miss ye’ AC. Thanks for the laughs. And the candy.

Seesul's avatar

Maybe he’ll be back in his duct tape and pipe cleaner lawn chair time machine
Or maybe he made it into the movies.

Perhaps his pinata looked likethis.

Back on topic, aren’t a lot of oxymoronic words self negating? Examples: jumbo shrimp and government intelligence? What about movie titles, True LIes, Back to the Future, Eyes Wide Shut?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@seesul, Like a starbucks tall coffee…which is actually a small.

Seesul's avatar

No kidding SL, I got so tired of nomenclature with drinks that I finally solved it by pointing to the one that I want, or saying “the smallest one that you have”.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@ seesul I make my husband order! The ‘baristas’ give me evil eyes at my regular Starbucks. I don’t know their lingo & don’t put my oder in the right ‘order’ :)

Nimis's avatar

What’s with all the candy?
Holy shit! Where’s AC?

Nimis's avatar

[makes a pitiful attempt to reconstruct AstroChuck with pinata candy]

drhat77's avatar

Seesul that was teh best depiction of astrochuck mainstream media has ever offered.

pathfinder's avatar

Is it that as much you spend as much you get?What time is it?I thing it does not mether.

drhat77's avatar

today i told someone “I’m not as witty as I think I am.” that’s pretty self-negating

Nimis's avatar

[peeks in real quick]

augustlan's avatar

HAHAHAHA!

AstroChuck's avatar

(Still headless)

Nimis's avatar

There you are! Just checked in the frizzer for you too!
How ‘bout that one? [points at head made of pinata candy]

augustlan's avatar

Glad to see he’s alive and well, even if he is still old and headless! ; )

AstroChuck's avatar

Hey, heads grow back, right?

augustlan's avatar

I miss this thread. :(

AstroChuck's avatar

I think this is the most fun I’ve had on any thread.

AstroChuck's avatar

Ooh. I just found a Twizzler!

augustlan's avatar

You’re saving it for me, aren’t you, Chuckie? God, I was only 41 when this thread started. Now I’m old, too!

AstroChuck's avatar

I’m still six, thank God.

Nimis's avatar

Ewwww…hope you guys cleaned off that Twizzler first.

augustlan's avatar

Brains are delicious.

AstroChuck's avatar

I already told you. Mine is made of Smarties.

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