English is a hard language. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been speaking it for a few decades. It doesn’t matter that I’ve published books using tens of thousands of words in the language. What has me musing on this?
Here’s the scenario. I asked a co-worker if a project was a bonded project (def: a type of surety bond used in construction projects to protect against an adverse event that causes disruptions or financial loss.) He looked in the digital folder folder and said “Nothing is there.” And I said, “Which is different from saying ‘there is nothing.'” His statement was simply that the file was empty. The document could have existed and been misfiled or never filed, or didn’t exist because it wasn’t needed. Looking back, checking the file could have only proved if the project was bonded (because the paper would have been in the file) but could not prove that it was not a bonded project (unless we uploaded page that said “no bond needed”, which we don’t do).
Moral of the story….there’s a lot of something even in nothing.