"miss not having"

by Bob Cunningham

Logically speaking, to say that you miss something implies that it used to be, it is no more, and you wish it were. To say that you miss not having something is therefore equivalent to saying that you are sorry you have it. There are those who argue, though, that no matter what logic indicates, "miss not having" is equivalent to "regret not having". The expression was once used that way by Mike Wallace on the 60 Minutes TV show, when he said to Louis Farrakhan, "Did you miss not having a father?" AUE posters for the most part either fail to see anything wrong with that usage or see what's logically wrong with it but still believe that it's idiomatically acceptable.