In the Actionline column in the San Jose Mercury News the very same one quoted in my previous post Dennis Rockstroh provides some information about the content of the law governing access to and locking of emergency exits from public spaces:
The law says that nothing "shall be so designed and installed that it cannot, even in cases of failure, impede or prevent emergency use of such exit."
I don't think so! This time I think Dennis has it wrong. We have crazy laws here in California, but not this crazy. To require that nothing be designed in such a way that it cannot (even if it fails) impede use is to require that everything be designed in such a way that it can impede use (including in cases where it fails). That is, the way Dennis has it, under California law you must lock all emergency exits. I don't necessarily think this isn't a case of what we haven't failed to refer to on Language Log as overnegation. Why does my head hurt?Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at August 16, 2004 06:26 PM