advice offered by darker characters may be untrustworthy or dangerously double-edged

< Previous | Next >

deluger

New Member
Ukrainian - Ukraine
Greetings. We've got a sentence from the disclaimer at the very beginning of "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality" by Eliezer Yudkowsky:

"Not everything the protagonist does is a lesson in wisdom, and advice offered by darker characters may be untrustworthy or dangerously double-edged."

Does the sentence have in the second part a meaning which may be expressed "advice offered by darker characters may also be not untrustworthy and not dangerously double-edged"?
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No. The advice offered by darker characters may be untrustworthy or dangerously double-edged.

    The 'not' in the first half of the sentence doesn't 'carry over' to the second.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Not everything..." the negative applies only to "everything", not to the whole clause - and certainly not to the following clause.

    Some things the protagonist does are not lessons in wisdom.
     

    deluger

    New Member
    Ukrainian - Ukraine
    Ok, thank you. But then the whole meaning of the sentence brings some doubts - protagonists are not so good, but darker characters are still so bad?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Not everything the protagonist does is a lesson in wisdom, and advice offered by darker characters may be untrustworthy or dangerously double-edged."


    1 The protagonist makes some foolish decisions.
    2 Advice offered by "darker" characters is sometimes untrustworthy or dangerously ambivalent.

    I don't know who exactly is meant by "darker characters", but it doesn't seem to mean "the baddies".
     

    deluger

    New Member
    Ukrainian - Ukraine
    1 The protagonist makes some foolish decisions.
    2 Advice offered by "darker" characters is sometimes untrustworthy or dangerously ambivalent.

    I don't know who exactly is meant by "darker characters", but it doesn't seem to mean "the baddies".
    Well, kinda everything fits me now. Though if "darker characters" are however meant to be the real baddies, the second clause has acidly ironic mood and so far it is understandable as well.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top