not a little closer

Peloam

Member
Urdu
Hi

contemplating the Scripture will get one not a little closer to God.

or,

Through contemplating the Scripture, one becomes (or gets) not a little closer to God.

Are the above two sentences correct? I need an impressive expression which means (very much closer). Thank you.
 
  • spyroware

    Member
    Greek, GR
    Contemplating about the Scipture brings one closer to God.

    There's no 'impressive' way to say that. Both nearer and closer sound.. earthly :p And very much closer is too much.
     

    Peloam

    Member
    Urdu
    Does it mean that the expression "become not a little close/closer to God" is wrong or odd? I've seen it quite often but not in this particular context.
     

    spyroware

    Member
    Greek, GR
    It's definetely odd and to be honest I've never heard of it (as a phrase that means very close).

    The whole sentence is kinda weak too. Better try to rephrase it. :)
     

    Peloam

    Member
    Urdu
    Here are two sentences I found

    (But with his latest movie, "Mighty Aphrodite," it has become not a little scary in there.) Link


    (In not a few instances they have fallen victims to the plague, and if not always out and out (172) corrupted they become not a little tainted.) Link
     

    barneygoogle

    Member
    English - England
    To rephrase it, I would have preferred: "By contemplating the scriptures, one may get a little closer to God". As for "not a little closer", this phrase is best used in a sentence such as: "By contemplating the scriptures one becomes a lot closer to God; not a little closer to God".
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Here are two sentences I found

    (But with his latest movie, "Mighty Aphrodite," it has become not a little scary in there.) Link


    (In not a few instances they have fallen victims to the plague, and if not always out and out (172) corrupted they become not a little tainted.) Link
    We do say "not a little [something]" as an understated way of saying "very [something]".
    When I broke her valuable antique vase, my aunt was not a little annoyed.
    It is just that it doesn't work very well in this particular context. I can't explain why.
     

    Peloam

    Member
    Urdu
    Now I see, thank you pals.

    Thanks Cagey

    We do say "not a little [something]" as an understated way of saying "very [something]".
    When I broke her valuable antique vase, my aunt was not a little annoyed.
    In "not a little something", can this "something" be in the comparative mode (closer, happier, more annoyed)? I also want to know whether this expression is used in colloquial conversations, or if it could be found in books.
     

    Peloam

    Member
    Urdu
    any answers to the fallowing two questions?

    In "not a little something", can this "something" be in the comparative mode (closer, happier, more annoyed)? I also want to know whether this expression is used in colloquial conversations, or if it could be found in books.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    [....]

    In "not a little something", can this "something" be in the comparative mode (closer, happier, more annoyed)? I also want to know whether this expression is used in colloquial conversations, or if it could be found in books.
    I can't be certain, but I don't think we would use it with a comparative. At least, I can't think of an example that works. The point of "not a little" used this way is to emphasize the fact that someone is angry, or whatever, by negating the opposite, that someone was only a little angry, for instance. You can say "not a little more" meaning "quite a bit more", but it works differently.

    It is used in colloquial speech, and in writing; it usually calls attention to itself as a play on words. In the example with the aunt, for instance, "not a little" is slightly humorous. No one would expect the aunt to be only a little angry. Probably if you are just getting information across, you would just say it directly. You would not use litotes as we call it.
     

    Peloam

    Member
    Urdu
    Thank you for letting me know the definition of this device. I think that using "not a little" with a comparative will not sound natural to English speaking people even if correct. I have no specific reason, but I think using the comparative makes the structure of this "litotes" hard to understand.

    (Probably if you are just getting information across, you would just say it directly. You would not use litotes as we call it. )

    Does it mean that the use of litotes is a little disliked?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    No, it is not disliked. It is a little "rhetorical", a way of playing with words. Sometimes people like to do that; other times they are less interested.
     
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