Negative

DEFINITION

An image produced in a photographic emulsion on a sheet of film, paper or glass by exposure to light and to development in photosensitive chemicals. This process reverses all values and colors of light and dark areas of the image to which the emulsion was originally exposed, light areas appearing dark (opaque) and shadows appearing light (transparent). Negative is the opposite of positive, especially when positive represents the values and colors of an image much as they would appear in reality. Negative can also be a synonym for "no," and as in judgment, can signify disapproval.Quote: Sometime in the 1950s Oxford philosopher J.L. Austin presented a lecture at Columbia Universtiy on the philosophy of language. "In English," he said, "a double-negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double-negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double-positive can form a negative." Someone at the back of the room muttered dismissively: "Yeah, yeah." The voice was that of Sidney Morgenbesser (1921-2004), American philosopher. Cited by James Ryerson in an article about Morgenbesser, "Sidewalk Socrates," New York Times Magazine, December 26, 2004, p. 35. Also see art criticism, bad art, blot, invert, and ugly.

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