August 8, 2007

Random Thoughts on ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ in the Movies

Filed under: General,Prose — crcb @ 5:46 am

Mood: self-inflicted

  • English-speaking Russians, no matter how fluent, cannot master the tongue-twisting word “no.” They must resort to their native language and say “nyet.”
  • In romance, the meanings of “yes” and “no” are reversed.
  • One of the funniest lines in comedy: “No! No. No, No, No. No! Yes.” (Used to good effect by both Monty Python and Eddie Izzard.)
  • Robots find the word “yes” too complicated; they prefer the simpler alternative, “affirmative.”
  • A lawyer can insist on yes or no answers to complex questions, despite a witness’s oath to tell “the whole truth.” A useful question for a defense lawyer might be: “Did you actually see my client shoot her husband five times, and chop up the body, and pack it in freezer bags, and load the bags into an ice chest, and drive to the bridge and dump the cooler into the river? Just answer yes or no.” If the witness didn’t follow her to the bridge, he has to say “no.”
  • An English-speaking, Russian robot would say “affirmative” and “nyet.”

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