English has two kinds of double negatives. I’ll call them incorrect and correct. Maybe we could call the incorrect type of double negative “low class,” and the correct double negative “polite” or “high falootin’.”
Here’s a couple incorrect usages:
I don’t got no money.
There ain’t no place we can hide
You shouldn’t use no bad grammar
Examples of correct usage:
Polite double negatives are not infrequently found in older conversations.
I’m not unopposed to going to the opera with you
He is not unlike his brother
I’m not indifferent to bad grammar
And then there’s overkill, as demonstrated in this cartoon, which I’m posting because of the grammar, not because of the politics.
A malaprop is when you have the meaning right but the pronunciation wrong. I don’t think a malaprop requires the mispronunciation to be an actual word. (In which case I know a member of my local home government who makes a lot of malaprops. But I digress.)
Anyway, the toaster gives the guy his revenge…
Wouldn’t you know it; I ran into a comic about malaprops!
Quiz: Can you tell what the correct words are? I counted six malaprops…
First, numbers in most contexts are adjectives. Adjectives don’t show number in English. We say “five apples” but not “fives apples.” But that’s not my point.
Let’s move on to arithmetic. We (correctly) say “Three and six are nine.” Plural verb, so plural numbers, right? Not quite. That sentence has a plural subject, three and six. You could as easily say “Tom and Pete are sick.” The two persons are one each, and they make a plural subject.
A number is singular when you talk about the number itself!
For example, you say, “six is half of twelve, thirteen is a prime number.” Singular verbs! You’re referring to the number itself (not themselves), not six of something, such as six people.
Finally we get to the comic. Third panel. The guy confuses referring to the number itself with the number of things. Sounds wrong, doesn’t it?
Anyway, there’s a little incongruity for you that I bet you never noticed.