She wasn't too smart to die from eating chocolate! Was she?

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The spy Archer's code name is "Duchess", given him by his mother Malory after her dog.
MALORY: Ohh, duchess. I loved her so much...
ARCHER: That it was creepy and pathetic?
MALORY: And if you were half as smart as she was--
ARCHER: She wasn't too smart to die from eating chocolate! Was she?
Archer, TV series

The red part seems odd to me. I'd expect it to be: "She wasn't too smart enough to not die from eating chocolate!"

Or, if we leave the first part untouched, "She wasn't too smart, considering she died from eating chocolate!"

Thank you.
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Yes, it is odd, at least at first sight. The intended idea is presumably that it wasn't very smart of her to die from eating chocolate.
    But think what it would mean if we negated the statement (by taking out the not): She was too smart to die from eating chocolate.
    This version would imply that she was smart enough to know that dying from eating chocolate would be stupid.
    Now if we negate it back again, the meaning becomes that she was not smart enough to know this, and this does look, at least in theory, close to the intended meaning.

    Nevertheless, the original version wasn't too smart.
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