ScribbleTaku

People struggled with yesterday's game, so let's see if you can't pick it up today.

Good luck! Here's the original hint:


Comments

    Minor gripe, but shouldn't that say "let's see if you *can* pick it up today"?

      Both are acceptable and more or less mean the same thing. Using the negative construction implies a more determined outlook though while using the positive construction doesn't really have that much emphasis. It's the same as using "Won't you come over?" as opposed to "Will you come over?"

        It's not really.

        "I'll see if I can guess it" makes sense.
        "I'll see if I can't guess it" does not make sense.

        The first implies you are trying to do something. The second implies you are trying to not do something. They are not interchangeable.

        This is kind of a pet peeve of mine and it's annoying me more as it's becoming more common in everyday language.

        This is one of those "could/could not care less" situations. "Could not care less" is the correct term, and "could care less" actually means the exact opposite of what they are trying to say.

          It may not appear to make sense but that's because it's idiomatic. It's grammatically correct and if you look at it another way, what you are actually saying is "Let's see whether we can't or can...". In the case of "see if we can't" though, the implication of the speaker is that they are challenging the notion that they would fail rather than anticipating it. With "see if we can", the speaker implies they are already confident that they will succeed and are just affirming it.

          It looks weird because it is. You can just as easily use "Let's see if I do" to challenge someone else's anticipation that you will fail. Maybe the following example will help:
          "You won't call will you? You never do."
          "We'll see if I don't!"
          The first speaker is implying that they don't have any belief that speaker 2 will do something because presumably they have a proven history of never doing it.
          Speaker 2 though instead of saying "We'll see if I do." chooses to be more emphatic and uses the negative construction to imply they fully intend to carry through with it and scoff at the suggestion that they wouldn't.

            A good example I can think of is the Little Engine story. You know..."I think I can, I think I can"...that one. Swing that around and imagine he says "I think I can't, I think I can't". Unless he's trying some reverse psychology on himself, it's pretty clear the alternative doesn't make sense.

          You are both a little bit right. It is grammatically acceptable to say 'Lets see if you can't get this', but it does not have the same meaning as 'Let's see if you can get this', which is clear from the use of the negative to mean the opposite. Because the author (Alex) is posing a riddle, it makes sense that he wants us to NOT solve it, as in the former sentence. He might, in this case, be taking delight in torturing us with a difficult puzzle.

          To illustrate the point again in the example you gave, you are right that 'Will you come over?' has different meaning from 'Won't you come over?', however both make sense. The latter simply makes the assumption that the person being asked will not come over, potentially due to self-deprication. Both pose a question pertaining to an on/off state (will they/won't they), and whether the question is posed in the positive or negative, will return the same information (I will come over/I won't come over).

          This usage is not the same as 'could/could not care less'. In the instance of this article, the usage is literal. In the case of saying 'I could care less', it is generally employed ironically or sarcastically, though this irony could potentially become lost dependant on the delivery.

    wow!
    Of the 10 comments, three are attempts at guessing the puzzle.
    I love this place, so many levels of entertainment. (not being facetious)

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