Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on research, writing, and practice.
Research & Writing
Accentuating the Negative
Multiple negatives: In grammar, the general rule is that you shouldn’t use two negatives. It’s incorrect to say I didn’t see no one, although people will know what you mean. The correct thing is, obviously, I didn’t see anyone. Contractual drafters like to avoid double negatives because they give rise to ambiguity. The concern isn’t so much over a sentence like I didn’t see know no one, but with repeated use of not or other negatives in a long, complicated sentence where the net effect may be uncertain. …