Saturday, April 16, 2016

N is for No, Any Questions?

I'm doing the A-to-Z Challenge.

Today is for N, and N is for No.

It's a simple word used to give a negative response. 

Example: "Do you want fries with that?"

"No. I'll have the salad instead."

It also is used to indicate that something is quite the opposite of what is being specified.

Example: "There is no way in hell you're wearing flipflops to school when it's 20 degrees out."

It also can be used in a variety of sarcastic contrary responses.

Example: When someone says the sky is blue, it would be *appropriate for a smart ass to respond with any of the following...

"No s**t."

"No duh."

"No way."

These are examples based on a thorough scan of several online dictionaries and 40+ years experience speaking the English language.

The odd thing about the word "NO," however, is that there seems to be this misguided idea that there are circumstances or objects that negate its definition, thereby turning "NO" into "YES." (Because we all learned in elementary math class that a negative plus a negative equals a positive.)

But here's the deal, when someone says "NO," they literally mean "NO."

Example: "Hey baby, you're lookin' fine. Do you want to get it on?"


Even adding a simple "Hell to the" doesn't change the definition. "No" still means "No."

I felt the need to clear that up because it is my understanding that some people out there are under the impression that certain things -- like a sexy outfit or any degree inebriation -- creates that double negative that somehow leads to a positive.

So I want to make it clear one last time: "NO" means "NO."

There is no such thing as "dressing for rape." The hottest-looking person in the world could be standing there buck naked and stoned out of his or her mind, but "NO" would still mean "NO."

Because when someone says "NO." there is nothing he or she can wear or not wear, drink or not drink, eat or not eat, smoke or not smoke, etc., that would make it okay for another person to put his or her hands, lips, knees, mouth or any other body part -- especially a penis -- in or on the person saying "No."

I hope that clears things up.

 * * *

Kathryn Harris is an award-winning journalist and author of the contemporary novel THE LONG ROAD TO HEAVENAll royalties she receives from April 2016's online sales of The Long Road to Heaven will be donated in memory of the late Caylee Hoehne to the United Way for use with the Court Appointed Special Advocates program for abused and neglected children. Please consider helping this worthwhile cause.

*Appropriate is a relative term.

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