“Nothing” is an interesting word and an even more interesting concept. The word is used frequently in many contexts without difficulty. However, a bit of probing reveals that there are many contexts in which the word can have dramatically different meanings, and the language user may be unaware of the possibility of a meaning other than the one he or she intends. It is difficult to talk about the concept coherently and hard to imagine one that more effectively illustrates the flexibility of language. This article considers its use in a variety of contexts.

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