The following is a dialogue between Alex and Haley appearing in episode 11 of Morden Family season 6.

Haley: I just wish there was something that you could teach me.

Alex: Uh-huh.

Haley: Wait, what about your Judo stuff?

Alex: Uh you're not interested in that.

Haley: No! No! I am! Come on! Karate-chop me or something!

My question is whether the Haley's "No! No! I am!" response is grammatically correct or not.

I'm not a native English speaker and according to what I have learned so far, I think she should have said "Yes" to express that she is interested.

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    'No' in reply to a negative statement can either mean 'I agree with your negative statement' or 'I disagree with your negative statement'. Such is English. It's not a matter of whether the grammar is acceptable here; it's that, if there are no contextual clues as to which meaning is intended, a different way to say it should be found. As with 'Johnny is trying.' – Edwin Ashworth Jun 11 '15 at 14:22
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    You're right, 'Yes! I am!' would be the usual way to say it. I think this usage 'No! No! I am' (which sounds perfectly fine to me in context) is related to the recent 'Yeah, no.' phenomenon, in that more than one thing is being thought at the same time. – Mitch Jun 11 '15 at 14:56

In Haley's "No! No!" the multiple uses resolve to a stronger form of "No". Is it grammatically correct? Not quite. It's a nonstandard usage that is only acceptable in speech. A double negative is similar in that it retains its negativity despite the fact that two negatives usually make a positive in English. Merriam-Webster

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    No! No! @Gavin42, these two negatives reinforce each other to correct Alex. Just as : Stop! Stop! doesn't mean Go on! – Hugh Jun 11 '15 at 14:16
  • That is not what I'm referring to, but I went ahead and made an edit to resolve the second possible ambiguity. – Gavin42 Jun 11 '15 at 14:17
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    Apart from when they are being used for emphasis! (I am never, never going back.) Or when colloquial registers allow (You ain't nothin' but a hound dog). – Edwin Ashworth Jun 11 '15 at 14:25
  • I'm with Hugh on this. The "No!" is repeated for emphasis, meaning "No, Alex, you're wrong"; which Haley then reinforces with "I am [interested in that]!" I can't see a double negative at work here. – Margana Jun 11 '15 at 14:27
  • The term 'double negative' does not refer to absolutely every use of two negatives in a sentence. It refers to the very specific use of 'not VERB no...' for more standard 'not VERB any ...' (or similar), which is indicative of informal or regional (mostly southern or rural) speech. Eg 'I ain't doin nothing' -> 'I am not doing anything' = 'I am doing nothing'. In standard speech 'I am not doing nothing' is a logical combination of two negatives meaning 'I am doing something'. It is not called a double negative. Also repetition does not logically eliminate or is 'double negative'. Just emphasis. – Mitch Jun 11 '15 at 14:49

If you think about how you can break up the phrasing, it works.

"Alex: Uh you're not interested in that.

Haley: No! No!"

So the "no no" is a disagreement with Alex's statement. She then continues with:

"I am! Come on! Karate-chop me or something!"

But agreed, when read on the single line of script the tendency is to put the "no no" with the "I am", which is grammatically awkward.

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