not a significant surprise

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Nov 10 18:12:59 UTC 2011

On Nov 10, 2011, at 1:01 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:

> Let's see how much mileage I can get out of this one:
>> "The fourth quarter is likely to worsen further," said William Power,
>> an analyst at Robert W. Baird. "Driven by iPhone 4S competition, the
>> company warned of a challenging fourth quarter, which is *not a
>> significant surprise*."
> This seems to be a /semantic/ blind alley ;-) What's being negated here?
> Is is a significant non-surprise? An insignificant surprise? Or a
> distributive insignificant non-surprise? The context seems to suggest
> that it's not a surprise at all but YMMV.
Seems to me just a fancy way of saying "not a big surprise", which has never bothered me.


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