Litany of NO

            When I was growing up, my older sister Elizabeth used to tease me with the first three lines of this list of negatives.  Later in life, when I became a teacher, I added lines four through eight and used the result liberally with my high school sophomores.

In a word: No!

In two words: No way!

In three words: Not at all!

In four words: Not on your life!

In five words: Absolutely, positively, and unequivocally no!

In six words: No, and a thousand times no!

In seven words: What part of “no” don’t you understand?

In eight words: “I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request.”[1]

[1] From the 2003 movie The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.