Two No's

This is a story about an advertisement and an interesting photograph in today's national newspaper. Beyond that, this is a story about English language.

Well, here goes the first advertisement - splashed on the first page of a national daily - The Times Of India.

Have a look at the advertisement above. The sentence "Subsequent to this pre-payment the Company will have NO liability of a single paisa." has been plaguing my mind since the time I have read it.

With my limited knowledge of English language, I think the above sentence does not look correct.  However, Microsoft Word seems to give a green signal to this sentence.

In my opinion, it should have been "Subsequent to this pre-payment the Company will NOT have a liability of a single paisa."

Maybe it was the urge to showcase that bold NO that made the content writers choose the current style.

Moving onto a second picture, once again from The Times Of India.

This is a picture from Dhaka, Bangladesh of people thronging the train to head home on the occasion of Id.

The snap itself will awe you. The mass of people on the train, those inside who are not seen, and the many thousands on the platform reflects an imbalance between the needs and the resources.

In this picture, apart from the sheer number of people, the picture title registered in my mind.

Once again a No.

The sentence "We Don't Need No Reservation" seems incorrect. This time, Microsoft Word agrees with me.

The correct sentence should have been "We Don't Need Any Reservation".

They say, Two No's make a Yes. For me, it was not the case here. Although the first No is debatable, The Two No's have got a thumbs down from me.

What do you guys out there think about it??

Two No's Two No's Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. Its called usage of double negative. Its a sketchy area in any language. Remember the Pink floyd song..??

    Good that you are learning through blogging..


  2. i think in the first instance they r using legal language and the second is colloquial lift from the song. so its ok. but thats just me

  3. Most of the legal notices are drafted by people who love to use language which doesn't make sense. And the second one, is quite common these days. People have their own style of writing and explanation to it.

  4. The Sahara ad had me in splits :) and the fact that paisa was mentioned made it even more funny :D

  5. Thank You FP, Sandy, Saru and India's No 1 Blog.

    I learned a bit about Double Negations, and had a laugh too :)