The ‘Not’

 

The two most deceptively simple words in the English Language are the midgets: ‘Is’ and  ‘Not’. Two itsy-bitsy  words: Existence and Absence. [Sanskrit, from the roots: as and na.]

We shall get to the ‘Is’ later. [‘Being’; what Walt Whitman called: ‘The Puzzle of Puzzles’]. For now, the ‘Not’.

Not; Nothing; Nonsense; Never; Neither; Neutral. They all come from the same gene. One big mischievous joint-family. [I know of no word that more annoys a trained Logician than the word ‘Not’.] And here is how the mischief begins:

North America and South America together make up the Americas. But North America and Not-North America?

We are not quite sure what exactly is: ‘North America and Not-North America’.

‘Not quite sure?’ That’s right. Not quite sure.

And not quite sure what exactly: ‘Not quite sure’ means.

Nor the above sentence.

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