It's kind of like a "double negative". [litotes]

onhcetum

New Member
Vietnamese
Hey guys, I remember my teacher telling me about it last year; however, I don't remember it right now. It's kind of like a double negative, but it's not.

My brother wasn't weak. (Which could have been My brother was strong.)

The books didn't display erroneous information.
(Which could have been The books did display accurate information.)

You kind of use it to downplay someone or something's achievement.

Thank you!
 
  • onhcetum

    New Member
    Vietnamese
    Thank you for your input; however, this is the word I'm looking for.

    It was a word that was used specifically to describe it
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I wonder whether you are thinking of litotes:
    understatement for rhetorical effect (especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary); "saying `I was not a little upset' when you mean `I was very upset' is an example of litotes"
    I don't think of it as a way of downplaying someone's achievement, however. As your first example shows, it can be a backwards way of pointing out how much someone achieved.
     
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