Bit of a quibble on a discussion elsewhere.
I made the following statement:
They had absolutely no debt, except for their mortgage.
Someone (with whom I disagree vehemently) has accused this of being a self-contradicting statement.
I argue that the meaning is identical to:
Except for their mortgage, they had absolutely no debt.
Am I missing something, or am I right in thinking that the meaning of these two statements is exactly the same, and that the inclusion of except in an absolute statement does not render the statement self-contradictory but simply makes the single exception clear?
OP’s friend is the most extreme pedant I’ve ever heard of! Here are 136,000 written instances of absolutely nothing except.
I imagine this guy would positively foam at the mouth if he ever came across quite unique (admittedly less common, but still 120,000 instances).