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No is Yes single work   children's fiction   children's  
Issue Details: First known date: 1987... 1987 No is Yes
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'A man has kept his 14-year-old daughter Linda locked up in his house for her entire life; he is the only person with whom she has interacted, and he has deliberately communicated with her in 'mixed-up English', using words in opposite contexts (e.g. interchanging the words 'yes' and 'no') to demonstrate a point about the way a person learns to speak. A young plumber visits and is horrified, and the father gives him permission to attempt to explain the experiment to Linda, convinced that she will not be able to comprehend what he is telling her; he tries several times, and as the story progresses she shows signs of beginning to understand what her father has done.

'At the climax of the story, the house burns down with Linda's father trapped inside. When the fireman asks Linda if anyone is inside the house, she tells him 'no'; but, her meaning is left ambiguous.' (

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Quirky Tails : More Oddball Stories Paul Jennings , Ringwood London : Puffin , 1987 Z831863 1987 selected work children's fiction children's humour Ringwood London : Puffin , 1987
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Paul Jennings' Weirdest Stories Paul Jennings , Camberwell : Penguin , 2006 Z1343299 2006 selected work children's fiction children's

    From the hugely popular UnCollected series comes this special selection of tales – a showcase of Paul's storytelling talents at their very best . . . and weirdest!

    Camberwell : Penguin , 2006
    pg. 143-160
Last amended 19 Jun 2020 09:16:00