Re: "do not do x" vs "never do x"

Subject: Re: "do not do x" vs "never do x"
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: Milan Davidovic <milan -dot- lists -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 14:25:27 -0400

I think that the difference is in the implied consequences of failing to
obey the instruction.

"Do not walk on the edge of the cliff beyond the rope barrier. You might
fall off, and if we didn't tell you, we might be held liable for your
injury or death. On the other hand, if you feel reckless, that's your

"Never cross the rope barrier in an attempt to walk on the edge of the
cliff. The electric charge in the rope will be your final warning. If
you indeed do step on the cliff edge, it will crumble, and your body
will fall into the molten sulphur and not be recovered."

The reader is not expected to invent exceptions to the instruction,
"Never," even though fictional heros and villians do so frequently.

Milan Davidovic wrote:
> Of the two ways of telling someone not to do something:
> - Do not <do x>.
> - Never <do x>.
> how do you choose which to use?


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"do not do x" vs "never do x": From: Milan Davidovic

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