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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||Positive quote evolved to negative|
|Question:||Hello, and thanks for reading this! In the words of THOREAU from Walden--''If a man does not keep pace with his companions perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer--let him step to the music which he hears, however measured and far away.'' As so many of American quotes and phrases that have been gleaned from the work of Thoreau and have become a popular part of our ongoing and current vernacular, e.g. ''He marches to the tune of a different drummer''. To those reading only the quote as it evolved into our language, never reading the original--it seems it could be read as a negative rather than a positive. Is there a word or definition that is used to point out that conceptual possibility? Thanks for your consideration, Lois Graham|